DEERFIELD, IL - Walgreens is participating in the nation's first privately funded and comprehensive 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 eVgo high-powered rapid charging stations expected to be installed in February 2011.
The participating Walgreens locations, in addition to charging stations at public parking facilities, other retailers and work places, will make up NRG's eVgo network to help ensure all electric vehicle users have a place to charge up within 25 miles of the Houston city center.
"Our neighborhood stores will be a great and convenient location for customers to recharge electric vehicles," said Walgreens director of energy and sustainability Menno Enters. "This is another way we are providing our customers with an environmentally sustainable shopping experience, and it sets us apart as a retailer who is moving clean and green energy alternatives forward."
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 4-6 hours. NRG, which is ready to expand across America as early adoption of electric vehicles goes mainstream, anticipates announcing the next eVgo cities in early 2011.
In addition to Walgreens, charging stations in the Houston area will be conveniently located along major freeways, in key shopping and business districts and in multi-family 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.
"As a responsible retailer, Walgreens is looking for effective ways to promote environmental stewardship," said Enters. "With these charging stations, we can help our customers who embrace electric vehicles and environmental sustainability."
NRG's eVgo charging plans will cover recharging at home or at any recharging station, and will initially be priced from $49 to $89 per month. 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.