Today, California announced a $120 million investment to install over 10,000 charging points throughout the state. The new "Electric Expressway" will be built up by NRG Energy Inc. and will include 200 public fast-charging stations and 10,000 "plug-in units" at 1,000 locations.

Just a few days ago, the first official openings in the West Coast Electric Highway happened in Oregon. The Electric Expressway is not part of the WCEH, but it's not like electric vehicle drivers will care. Chargers are chargers. Nissan issued a statement applauding Brown's "clear vision and strong commitment to electric vehicles." See that statement plus ones from NRG and the Union of Concerned Scientists after the jump.

Meanwhile, over in New Jersey, a bill to support charging stations being installed at businesses and homes is moving through the legislature. If signed into law, the state government will support stations by paying for up to $500 for each one next year, with decreasing amounts after that. Details here.
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STATEMENT: NISSAN APPLAUDS CALIFORNIA'S $120 MILLION INVESTMENT FOR CREATION OF 'ELECTRIC EXPRESSWAY'

"Nissan applauds California Governor Brown's clear vision and strong commitment to electric vehicles through the $120 million investment for the creation of the Electric Expressway. California is leading the way in fostering the growth of electric cars, such as the zero-emissions Nissan LEAF. More than 40 percent of the 11,000 LEAFs sold in the United States are on the roads in California. Today's landmark commitment, which will bring more than 10,000 electric-vehicle charging points to the state, paves the way for widespread adoption of this critical technology."

NRG Energy, Inc. to Build Unprecedented Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Infrastructure in California

PRINCETON, NJ; March 23, 2012 – The California Public Utilities Commission and NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) have entered into an agreement where NRG will build a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) charging network in California, investing approximately $100 million over the next four years.

This fee-based charging network will consist of at least 200 publicly available fast-charging stations-installed in the San Francisco Bay area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County-which can add 50 miles of range in less than 15 minutes of charging. Additionally, NRG's EV infrastructure commitment will include the wiring for at least 10,000 individual charging stations located at homes, offices, multifamily communities, schools and hospitals located across the State.

"With this agreement, the people of California will gain a charging infrastructure ready to support their current and future fleet of electric vehicles," said David Crane, NRG's Chief Executive Officer. "And we will be helping the State meet its clean car goals as embodied by its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate."

The agreement, pending approvals and finalization, resolves outstanding litigation arising out of a long-term electricity contract entered into over a decade ago by a subsidiary of Dynegy, Inc., then a co-owner with NRG of the portfolio of power generating plants currently owned by NRG in California. NRG assumed full responsibility for resolving this matter in 2006 when NRG acquired Dynegy's 50% interest in the assets.

"California already leads the way in the development of an alternative energy transportation sector and, with the price of gasoline above $4 per gallon and rising, all Americans need to be giving serious consideration to the increasingly attractive electric vehicle alternative to what former President Bush called 'our national addiction to foreign oil'," continued Crane. "This network will be built with private funds on a sustainable business model that will allow NRG to maintain and grow the network as EV adoption grows."

The agreement calls for a network that will bring:

A minimum of 200 direct current (DC) fast chargers to the state.
A minimum of 10,000 parking spaces retrofitted with wiring necessary to charge EVs at multifamily buildings, large worksites and civic sites such as universities and hospitals.
Training and jobs for the installation and maintenance of these charging stations in California.
Advanced charging services that increase the speed and power of DC fast charging, store electricity to minimize peak-period demand, and enable EV drivers to support electrical grid reliability with needed energy services through vehicle to grid technology enhancement and implementation.
Significant additional investment in California's clean technology economy and hundreds of jobs in construction and EV infrastructure manufacturing, maintenance and management.
Approximately $100 million in infrastructure investment over four years, and $20 million in cash to go to the California Public Utility Commission.

About NRG
NRG is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. A Fortune 500 company based in Princeton, NJ, NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy choices for our customers: whether as one of the largest solar power developers in the country, or by building the first privately funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure or by giving customers the latest smart energy solutions to better manage their energy use. Our diverse power generating facilities can support more than 20 million homes and our retail electricity providers-Reliant, Green Mountain Energy Company and Energy Plus-serve more than two million customers. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.

Safe Harbor Disclosure
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions and include NRG's expectations regarding the Company's agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission and electric vehicle infrastructure and forward-looking statements typically can be identified by the use of words such as "will," "expect," "believe," and similar terms. Although NRG believes that its expectations are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct, and actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated above include, among others, general economic conditions, hazards customary in the power industry, competition in wholesale power markets, the volatility of energy and fuel prices, failure of customers to perform under contracts, changes in the wholesale power markets, changes in government regulation of markets and of environmental emissions, and our ability to achieve the expected benefits and timing of our electric vehicle projects. NRG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The foregoing review of factors that could cause NRG's actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements included in this news release should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect NRG's future results included in NRG's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov.


CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR'S $120 MILLION SETTLEMENT ADVANCES ELECTRIC VEHICLE INFRASTRUCTURE

STATEMENT BY ADRIENNE ALVORD, UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS

BERKELEY, Calif. (March 23, 2012) – California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. (D) today announced a $120 million settlement with NRG Energy Inc. that will fund a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the state. He also issued an executive order that lays the foundation for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2025.

The electric vehicle charging network will include at least 200 public fast-charging stations along with an additional 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across California.

The settlement, which stems from California's energy crisis, comes on the heels of the state Air Resources Board's (ARB) update to the groundbreaking ZEV program. Revisions adopted in January include the most significant change to California's ZEV program in its 20-year history-requiring battery, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to account for up to 15 percent of California's new vehicle sales by 2025.

Below is a statement from Adrienne Alvord, California and Western States director for the Union of Concerned Scientists:

"Using the settlement in this creative way is turning a dark chapter in the state's recent past into a fantastic opportunity to build our future. This is an example of the sort of imaginative leadership we welcome to help create a cleaner and more secure future.

"Governor Brown's executive order and the settlement are significant and creative commitments to a clean energy future for California. More electric vehicles on the road and more charging stations will help create jobs in California while cleaning our air, tackling global warming, and protecting consumers from pain at the pump.

"Increasing accessibility to charging infrastructure throughout the state should give consumers greater confidence in choosing an electric vehicle as their next vehicle purchase, and goes hand in hand with the ARB's ZEV program that ensures automakers will continue to expand their offerings of plug-in electric vehicles."

###

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading U.S. science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. Founded in 1969, UCS is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also has offices in Berkeley, Chicago and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      This news is terrific, but the recharging station pictured seems silly. It's clearly modeled after a gas station, but the needs of EVs are completely different. You don't need an island that wastes space to provide fast-in and fast-out capability. You need maximum parking space for longish charging times. And you don't need weather cover because EV drivers don't stand by their cars the whole time. I'm convinced that fast chargers will eventually be found primarily in shopping center and restaurant parking lots near major highways, where people will want to spend time while they charge on long-distance drives.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tysto
        That is why I think that away from home charging will happen via buried inductive charging in parking lots most of the time. For fast charging the Renault AC charger seems to be the way to go, as it costs much less with all the complicated bits in the car.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hello Everyone, We represent one of the Fast Charger located in Portland on Electric Ave. Just a quick review for those interested. Level 2 charger connectors work with Volt, Mitsubishi i and Leaf and take 4 hours to charge to 80%. Leaf and Mitsubishi i offer an option for fast charging which 80% of the owners have chosen to order that provides a 30 mins. charge to 80%. Average charging times based on present usage in Portland is 19 mins. Further thoughts; Most large cities with large multi-family housing (example) will not want L-2 chargers in parking structures, but rather Fast Chargers located near them to provide quick charging and allow users to return home with a full battery. Most locations will provide either L-2 or fast charging even with Evgo (NGR) 200+ locations in CA within the next 3-4 years. The goal within the next 5 years in CA. is to offer EV Owners an opportunity to drive further and minimize charging times! Locate them at easy accessible location with services such as (rest stops, coffee shops, food, tourist location, etc. I hope you found this interesting, EVCollective.com Marc
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe the chargers that might see some customers success are the one with lenghty side service like restaurants, spas, cinemas, hotels, sport stadiums , golf courses, resorts, casinos, near the chargers because nobody will stop anywhere else for 4 hours if there is nothing to do while waiting for the battery to recharge 4 hours for 1 hour onto the road thereafter.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        In reality, 95+% of EV charging will be done by people at home on their home chargers overnight. The charging infrastructure is mainly for: 1) Emergencies where someone ran low on power 2) Planned trips such as a trip to a nearby city where you drive there, plug-in, enjoy the cit, then unplug and drive home. 3) Mostly . . psychological effect of making EV buyers feel more secure (even though they'll rarely use them).
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      The California story is pretty interesting. Jerry Brown accomplished this by negotiating a settlement to an old lawsuit. This was quite clever because: 1) We get lots of EV chargers installed. 2) Jerry Brown doesn't have to get it approved through the legislature 3) The power company settles an old lawsuit by with a system that creates more demand for their product. 4) It creates jobs for installing these chargers. 5) IT COSTS THE TAXPAYERS NOTHING! Well played, Governor Moonbeam! http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/Governor-Brown-Announces-Settlement-to-Fund-Electric-Car-Charging-Stations-144011706.html
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        It really is amazing. In 4 years its all done with no other state even close to the scale of this. Well played indeed.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Again car manufacturers have mess-up the fueling technology with different electric charging methods. Some ev owners will find themself unable to recharge at these stations because of many different incompatible charging method. Most driver will recharge one time with level 2 charger after waiting 2 hours, and it will take 2 hours for recharging. After a while nobody will use these useless electrical recharging stations. After the subsidies are gone nobody will invest anymore because of lack of customers.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Gorr, all the plugin cars can use Level 2 charging, most of the EV's (Nissan Leaf's) will also be able to use the quick chargers. As other manufacturers come into the EV market seriously (large production numbers like Nissan) they will offer quick charging as well since its such an obvious advantage (it'll sell more cars).
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah good luck fast-charging that Volt lady. It doesn't work that way.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        It looks to me like she has the level 2 charger from the smaller tower there - that fits the Volt just fine. The big Level 3 connector is visible in the big tower and is larger than the Level 2 in her hand. jMHO...
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          I agree . . . I just think the picture is misleading since it appears to be a center island where you just stop for a little while. If that Volt is empty, it will take 4 hours there to charge.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      The scale of this is truly amazing and in 4 years. Must be making Big Oil's execs skin crawl. Such a nice thought... Did this money from NRG come from the staged Enron winter power shortages of so many years ago?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Yes, this NRG money did come from a lawsuit settlement.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, impressive. Go California. Okay EV makers, now its time to get those prices down....
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Prepare yourselves for the onslaught of the under-educated! They will shout and groan about "each charger costing an average of $12,000 each". Because their simple minds only allow for simple arithmetic.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        In the hobby world, i can get a 4kW charger for about $500. Mind you, that's just a black box.. no fancy enclosure.. no thousand dollar plug, no safety features, fancy digital readout etc.. But still.. ! So if that provides any education to you as to as to why some may start whining, there it is.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          You can buy Level 2 SAE chargers for as low as $490. http://www.pluginamerica.org/accessory-tracker?page=2&type=EVSE&level=2&nrtl=All Perhaps there are cheaper ones now as well. But that is 16 amps . . . which is fine for the Leaf & Volt. But I'd go with something that does higher Amps that & costs a little more. Home depot sells a 30A level 2 charger for $799.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Spec, The Voltec 240V is still the cheapest L2 EVSE at $490. I would have bought the Schneider Electric model if I didn't have the SPX Power Xpress already.
          Ron Wagner
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          More info on source please. I am thinking of buying a Leaf.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Your "simple mind" apparently ignores installation costs, which will always be far more expensive than the charger itself. $12,000 is cheap.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          (for a public station)
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          2 years ago, you said, "And an average of $5000 installed cost is also reasonable." http://green.autoblog.com/2010/10/07/mercedes-benz-now-taking-orders-for-b-class-fuel-cell-vehicle/ Changing your tune to whatever the Hydrogen Shill says? ----------------------- The truth is Price and Cost are 2 VERY different things. I have no doubt that the Price is high at this moment of high demand, regardless of the cost. They can charge a price respective of the higher income of those currently buying EV/PHEVs. Yes, Labor is usually more expensive than Parts.... But, it is the Capitalists Duty to try and persuade you to pay for more labor than is actually needed.... There are PLENTY of places with 240 Volts that are close enough to parking that doesn't require digging a trench and a host of other "upcharges". But of course, people want to sell you the expensive stuff.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting is that they detail multifamily units as a goal. That is good for those who may want an EV but live in apartments and don't have garages.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://www.cleancaroptions.com/Fuel_Infrastructure_costs_electricity_vs_hydrogen.pdf
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        LOL, what a giant load of BS that study is. That site also is extremely biased towards Hydrogen, and leaves out all the negative aspects of it. Breakdown of the EV installer costs includes about $5k-$8k of non-materials fluff.. no breakdown for the cost of the hydrogen station. They also include the cost of 2 chargers per BEV, times 1.7, to get this number of what it costs per EV! Reality: most people will be charging at home with level II on a daily basis. No pipeline needs to be ran to their house - they already have 220v - 240v service pre-wired ( unless we're talking about an oldschool victorian home ). They only need one charger, at the cost of a few thousand dollars, and they're done.. I guess you still get a high five from your hydrogen fanboys though err, fanboy... gorr ;)
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Those are worst case scenarios. You don't need to spend a thousand dollars in engineering for each charger, for starters.. You also don't need to install 3.4 chargers PER CAR as they stated. No mention of what an extremely high pressure hydrogen infrastructure will cost. Electric wiring is already everywhere. Hydrogen? not so much. It's not energy dense enough to justify trucking it over. and maintaining all the seals in such a high pressure system is going to make it rather expensive to maintain. Then there's that whole issue about not being able to produce it economically and efficiently without using a fossil fuel source. 95% of the hydrogen currently generated in the USA is reformed natural gas. From a renewable resource, such as solar, it is much more efficient to just generate electricity. So many hurdles, Dave. I do not understand the overly inflated level of optimism for hydrogen. BEVs are lacking for sure, but hydrogen is many, many steps behind.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          There are actual numbers from actual charger installations. They arent estimates. I agree that the hydrogen information is somewhat biased, but the obvious truth is that there is a massive economy of scale to installing 1 large hydrogen station vs 2000 little BEV charger stations.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Dave, quit being a shill for C.E. Thomas. He is the National Hydrogen Association lobbyists that twists statistics around to suit his own agenda and line his own pockets. His B.S. projections were debunked a while ago. I am not gonna rehash the same arguments with you over and over again.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "You also don't need to install 3.4 chargers PER CAR as they stated. " Youve misread the study. "ECOtality also reported on their project to install 14,000 Type II outlets to support 8,300 BEVs for a total cost of $230 million, of which $114.8 million came from Federal Recovery (ARRA) funds. This works out to $16,429 per outlet or $27,711 per BEV supported7."
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          http://green.autoblog.com/2010/10/07/mercedes-benz-now-taking-orders-for-b-class-fuel-cell-vehicle/ Scroll down, and expand Peter's 14 comment thread. Most of the B.S. assumptions that C.E. Thomas and other Hydrogen profiteers are disputed there. **Like every BEV in the U.S. must have 2 chargers, and each charger costs several thousand dollars and require trenches to be dug during install, etc** The main crutch of the argument is that charging infrastructure must be paid for and built in full before BEVs can take off. But that is not true. Each BEV owner will pay his/her share as they purchase their own home charger. MANY MANY people are getting chargers for much less than C.E. Thomas is saying. On the other hand... Millions if not Billions of dollars must be spent BEFORE a single FCV can be sold (not leased) to a customer. It is economic suicide. C.E. Thomas twists the numbers so his investments can pay off. There is so much money to be made off the new, "Hydrogen Economy" because it resembles the Petroleum Economy in scale, logistics and hierarchy. It is a booming industry with many players all making money. EV Chargers, not so much. They have an industry that resembles home appliances... not enough profit spread around.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fast charge stations are all well and good, and I would expect a Leaf or a comparable all-electric could make good use of it, but why would anybody recharge a Volt on the go?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        Why not? As long as you are not getting charged a ridiculous amount, the electric miles will generally be cheaper than the gas miles.
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