Houston became the first major U.S. city to announce an electric vehicle charging network in November with the launch of NRG Energy subsidiary eVgo.
Now it’s finally getting the chargers to match the announcement.
A number of electric car owners signed up with the company for in-home charging stations in the past year, but this week will see the opening of the first of the network’s public charging stations.
The so-called “Freedom Station” will be located at the H-E-B Buffalo Market at the intersection of Buffalo Speedway and Bissonnet Street.
Each station allows for two cars to charge simultaneously. They will have a 480-volt DC fast charger able to charge an EV at a rate of 160 miles of range per hour (or about 30 miles 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.
Here’s a subsequent article with a bit more.
[Mayor Annise] Parker pitched what she calls Houston Drives Electric as a continuation of the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that has characterized Houston from its origins. Parker said the city figures to save at least $7,000 per car in fuel and maintenance costs in the first three years of the 25-car electric-only fleet it will purchase by the end of the year.
The city also has retrofitted 15 of its existing hybrid vehicles to charge off the stations. In addition, the city is installing 56 charging stations of its own – half in the City Hall parking garage to service the municipal fleet and half for public use at libraries, Hermann Park, the Arboretum and other parks. The city stations are funded by state and federal grants.
Three more of the NRG stations will open within the next week, including one downtown, and a total of 50 are slated to open by the end of 2012. Expect to see more of these around the country in the next few years as well.
Oh, and if you feel like banging your head against your desk, go wade through the comments in that Fuelfix post. If ignorance were a fuel source, we wouldn’t need to drill for oil.