Walgreens to offer electric vehicle recharging stations in Houston

Daily Herald report
Updated 11/18/2010 12:37 PM

Deerfield-based Walgreen Corp. said today it is participating in a privately funded electric vehicle support solution in Houston, where NRG Energy will install high-powered rapid charging stations for electric vehicles at 18 initial Walgreens locations. Walgreens is the largest retailer participating in this program, with the first eVgosm high-powered rapid charging stations expected to be installed in February.

The participating Walgreens locations, in addition to charging stations at public parking facilities, other retailers and work places, will make up NRG's eVgosm network to help ensure anyone with an electric vehicle has a place to charge up within 25 miles of the Houston city center.

"Walgreens is playing an invaluable role in helping get this network started by being a founder host of community convenience chargers as we work together to bring the value of electric vehicles to Houston," said NRG Energy President and CEO David Crane. "Walgreens will help ensure this all important initial launch is successful. We look forward to a long relationship that will help bring the same advantages of this alliance to other cities in the very near future."

Once the network is in place, Houston will have more than 100 chargers, including DC rapid chargers that can fully charge an electric vehicle in less than 30 minutes, and Level 2 chargers that can fully charge in 4 hours to 6 hours. NRG, which is ready to expand across America as early adoption of electric vehicles goes mainstream, anticipates announcing the next eVgosm cities in early 2011.

NRG's eVgosm charging plans will cover recharging at home or at any recharging station, and will initially be priced from $49 to $89 per month. Through these plans, customers can avoid as much as $2,500 in upfront costs for a home charging station and installation. Instead, customers can choose to subscribe to a three-year service agreement that will provide all their electricity consumption for their electric vehicle and home at a competitive fixed price per month.

In addition to Walgreens, charging stations in the Houston area will be located along major freeways, in key shopping and business districts and in multifamily community and workplace parking areas. Growing use of zero-emission electric vehicles in Houston, in place of traditional vehicles, will help reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides emissions that enter the city's air from transportation sources.