Nation’s first privately funded, comprehensive electric car / EV charging network now includes Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex; Interstate 45 connection with Houston slated for 2012
NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) is bringing range confidence to electric vehicle (EV) owners in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex by commencing operations at the first privately funded, eVgosm (ee-vee-go) Freedom Station in Texas, including the first high-speed direct current (DC) charger in Texas that is among the first in the nation. NRG plans to install a total of 70 Freedom Stations in Dallas/Fort Worth and 50 in Houston by the end of 2012, with half in place by this summer. NRG also plans to electrify the Interstate 45 corridor connecting them in 2012.
The first eVgo Freedom Station is located at the Walgreens at 5201 Belt Line Road at Montfort Drive in Dallas. Each Freedom Stationsm provides a 480 volt DC fast charger that can add 30 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes and a 240 volt Level 2 charger that can add up to 25 miles of range in an hour. Freedom Stations are available 24/7 and include a customer service tower with a mounted camera, giving customers access to an eVgo service representative or to activate a strobe light, siren and alert law enforcement, even from inside their vehicles. The eVgo network will also include Convenience Stationssm that offer a 240 volt Level 2 charger and are available during the retail host’s business hours.
“Inaugurating the first Freedom Station in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is a critical first step toward making electric vehicles the smart and convenient choice for Texans who want to reduce their cost of driving while contributing to cleaner air and America’s energy independence,” said David Crane, NRG President and CEO. “We’re taking a page from Southwest Airlines when they started out 40 years ago to link the major population centers in Texas. This first station is the start of an ecosystem that will eventually give Texas EV owners the freedom to drive with range confidence throughout the region.”
“Thanks to the innovative spirit and hard work of folks at NRG and their eVgo partners, we’re closer to a day when electric cars will be a prominent feature on our roadways,” Governor Rick Perry said. “I’m proud of our efforts in Texas to foster an environment that frees the private sector to solve problems and meet challenges. Because we steer clear of crippling mandates and work to keep our regulatory structures fair and predictable, Texas has created a favorable business climate that allows companies like NRG to provide the cutting-edge technology and products that will keep our state moving forward.”
EVs, powered by electricity generated from domestic fuels, including zero-emission wind and nuclear power in Texas, have the potential over time to reduce dramatically the ongoing transfer of American wealth to oil-producing nations. Transportation accounts for more than a quarter of America’s greenhouse gas emissions and in most Texas cities, it is the largest single source of nitrogen oxides emissions.
“The North Central Texas Council of Governments is delighted that the first eVgo electric vehicle charging station is now operational in the Dallas/Fort Worth region with many more to come in the near future,” NCTCOG Executive Director Mike Eastland said. “In an area of 6.5 million people, air quality is always a primary concern. NRG’s eVgo network is a welcome complement to NCTCOG’s Electric Vehicles North Texas program, and we truly appreciate our public- and private-sector partners that have been and continue to be instrumental in preparing the region for electric vehicles.”
NRG will provide EV owners in eVgo cities with extremely convenient and affordable unlimited miles “home-and-away” charging plans with no upfront cost and a flat monthly fee. NRG will install and maintain the region’s charging infrastructure of home chargers and public fast charging stations conveniently located along major freeways and in key shopping and business districts.
“Electric vehicle ownership should be fun, affordable and convenient, with drivers having complete confidence that a fast charger is never more than a few miles away,” said Arun Banskota, President of NRG’s EV Services division.
NRG is working with the North Texas electricity transmission and distribution company Oncor on zone planning and site selection for the eVgo charging stations in the Metroplex to ensure accessibility and reliability.
“From our installation of more than a million and a half advanced meters to help customers better manage their electricity usage, to the construction of 850 miles of new transmission lines delivering renewable power, Oncor is a leader in making Texas the best place in America to drive plug-in vehicles,” said Jim Greer, Oncor’s Senior Vice President of Asset Management and Engineering. “By 2012, our investments will enable more than three million homes and businesses in Oncor’s service area to use electric vehicle charging technology, such as the NRG eVgo network, when renewable energy availability is highest and the cost of electricity is lowest, supported by the capabilities of Oncor’s advanced meters.”
The following companies are working with NRG to make the eVgo network a success:
- Auto Sales and Rental: Gulf States Toyota, Hertz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan North America, smart USA, VIA
- Charging Station Host: Best Buy Co., Inc., Crescent Real Estate, Gallery Furniture,
- H-E-B/Central Market, Memorial City Mall, Park ‘N Fly, Spec’s Family Partners, Walgreens
- Charging Technologies, Network Services and Smart Energy: AeroVironment, GE, Siemens
- Retail Electric Providers: Green Mountain Energy Company, Reliant Energy, TXU Energy
- Ready for EV (REV) Host: Huffines Communities
For more about eVgo partners, visit https://www.evgonetwork.com/About_Us/Partners/
About Tony Cecala
Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind.