NRG Energy’s [NYSE: NRG] eVgosm electric vehicle (EV) charging network now includes Houston’s first Freedom Stationsm, allowing eVgo subscribers to plug in their vehicles while they are shopping and take advantage of DC chargers that can add 30 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes. Currently, the eVgo network is the only electric vehicle charging network in the nation to offer this extremely fast charging option.
The first Freedom Station is located at the H-E-B Buffalo Market at the intersection of Buffalo Speedway and Bissonnet Street. Three additional Freedom Station sites will open within the next two weeks at the Shops at Houston Center in downtown Houston, the Walgreens at 19710 Holzwarth Street and the Walgreens at 8942 West Sam Houston Parkway North. This is part of a network that will include 25 Freedom Stations around Houston by year-end and 25 more in 2012 with additional stations located on the grounds of retailers such as H-E-B, Best Buy, and others.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker will host an event recognizing the strides the City of Houston has taken in advancing the electric vehicle infrastructure as part of the Freedom Station unveiling this Thursday.
Each Freedom Station offers room for two cars to charge simultaneously. In addition to the 480-volt DC fast charger able to charge an EV at a rate of 160 miles of range per hour of charge, Freedom Station sites also offer a 240-volt Level 2 charger that can add up to 25 miles of range in an hour.
“This partnership with H-E-B, the Shops at Houston Center and Walgreens brings unprecedented charging capability to EV drivers in Houston,” said Arun Banskota, president of eVgo. “This Freedom Station, and the many that will follow in the coming months, will provide EV drivers with a convenient option for charging and offer them complete range confidence knowing they can power their vehicles throughout the greater Houston area.”
“The City of Houston is proud of its vision and ongoing leadership in electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid technology,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This innovative technology is part of our alternative transportation future, helping the City save money by reducing gasoline costs while also reducing in-city tailpipe emissions.”
The country’s first privately funded charging network, eVgo provides EV owners with extremely convenient and affordable unlimited miles “home-and-away” charging plans with no upfront cost and a flat monthly fee. eVgo will install and maintain the region’s charging infrastructure of home chargers and public fast charging stations. EV drivers who purchase one of eVgo’s charging plans will have access to the eVgo network in both Houston and Dallas as well as the Interstate 45 corridor, expected to be electrified by the end of 2012. eVgo subscribers will also have access to other eVgo cities which are expected to be announced in the future.
“eVgo’s 50 Freedom Station sites in Houston will help reduce air emissions, offer a way for drivers to avoid high prices at the gas pump and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” said Banskota. “Plus, they are fun to drive.”
EVs--powered by electricity generated from cleaner domestic fuels, including Texas wind-- have the potential over time to reduce air pollution dramatically and begin to put the brakes on the ongoing transfer of American wealth to oil-producing nations. America spends approximately a billion dollars a day for imported oil and transportation accounts for more than a quarter of America’s greenhouse gas emissions.