Houston, November 18, 2010 — NRG Energy is launching a privately funded, comprehensive electric vehicle ecosystem in Houston, the start of a rollout across Texas in 2011.
Under the brand name eVgo (ee-vee-go), NRG will provide electric vehicle owners throughout the greater Houston area with a convenient and affordable “home-and-away” fueling package. In addition to procuring and installing the EV home charging station itself, NRG also will install and maintain public fast charging stations located along major freeways, in key shopping and business districts, at popular retailers, and in multi-family community and workplace parking areas across Harris County.
NRG’s eVgo offers access to these facilities and services to EV drivers for a flat monthly fee making EV charging simple, predictable and hassle-free. eVgo will be an “unlimited miles” package, offering mobility at a fixed price for Houston-area EV drivers.
NRG plans to invest more than $10 million in Houston’s public charging station infrastructure and will be the first company to equip an entire major market with the privately funded infrastructure needed for successful EV adoption and integration.
The company is ready to expand these services across Texas as early adoption of electric vehicles grows and spreads in the state that leads the nation in energy innovation and deployment.
The eVgo network starts with the installation of a Level 2 home charger, at the new EV owner’s home. The Level 2 charger can deliver up to 25 miles per charging hour, allowing consumers to fully charge their vehicles overnight while they sleep.
eVgo continues on the road with Freedom Stations and Convenience Stations strategically situated across the city at host partners’ facilities. eVgo Freedom Stations will be open 24/7 and, in addition to Level 2 charging, will offer DC fast charging options, enabling EV drivers to add 30 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes.
NRG will install about 50 eVgo Freedom Stations by mid-2011 at major shopping and business districts and along all major freeways from downtown Houston to about 25 miles from the city center.
NRG is also working with retailers to install eVgo Convenience Stations to provide Level 2 charging during the retail host’s store hours. NRG simplifies installation through turnkey hosting programs, making it easy for Houston retailers to provide these stations for their customers’ benefit.
NRG also recognizes that many Houston-area employers want to encourage EV ownership and use for the good of both their employees and the greater community. To meet those needs, NRG has launched as part of eVgo a program called Ready for EV.
This program enables employers, property owners and managers to quickly and economically deliver dedicated charging options to individual EV drivers at work during the workday. NRG supports REV companies and property owners with a full-service solution that includes equipment, installation, maintenance and customer support.
At a rate of almost $30 billion per month, more than half of America’s trade deficit results from importing oil from foreign countries. EVs, powered by domestic fuel converted into electricity, including west Texas wind and Texas nuclear power, has the potential to reduce dramatically over time the ongoing transfer of American wealth to oil-producing nations.
For consumers, EVs will reduce the cost and increase the convenience of vehicle ownership. EV drivers, with a convenient, no-fuss fueling station in their garage, head out each morning for their day with a full tank of energy. No tune ups. No oil changes. With significantly fewer moving parts, EVs require less traditional maintenance than gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, saving consumers both time and money.
Every EV that displaces a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle benefits the local environment. Transportation accounts for more than a quarter of America’s greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent of Houston’s nitrogen oxides emissions.
EVs charged during the day from the Texas grid, using electricity generated by Texas’ current portfolio of nuclear, wind, coal and gas-fired generation produce less environmental impact than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.
However, most EV charging is expected to occur at night. This enables consumers to take advantage of Texas’ plentiful supply of zero emission nuclear power and west Texas nighttime winds to charge their vehicles while they sleep. Night charging also will minimize the potential grid impacts of the additional electrical loads from EV charging.