NRG Announces Pricing for Electric Vehicle Plans, Announces Charger Roll-out Email
This Story November 18, 2010 Updated November 19 with Additional Details on REP Interaction
(starting 7th paragraph)
NRG Energy is launching the nation’s first privately funded, comprehensive electric
vehicle (EV) ecosystem in Houston, the start of a rollout across Texas in 2011.
Under the brand name eVgo (ee-vee-go), NRG will provide electric vehicle owners throughout
the greater Houston area with, “an extremely convenient and affordable ‘home-and-away’
fueling package.” In addition to procuring and installing the EV home charging station
itself, NRG also will install and maintain public ‘fast charging’ stations conveniently
located along major freeways, in key shopping and business districts, at popular
retailers, and in multi-family community and workplace parking areas across Harris
NRG’s eVgo plan offers access to these facilities and services to EV drivers for
a flat monthly fee in an “unlimited miles” package (2/5).
eVgo charging plans will initially be priced from $49 to $89 per month, fixed for
the first three years of EV ownership. Through these eVgo miles plans, customers
can avoid as much as $2,500 in upfront costs for a home charging station and installation
as well as gain unlimited access to the eVgo network and unlimited miles of driving,
NRG said. NRG has filed for a patent on its unique and innovative eVgo business
The three charging plans are: Home Plan: $49/Month • Standard installation of
home charging dock and equipment • Service and maintenance on home charging dock and
Mobile Plan: $79/Month • Standard installation of home charging dock and
equipment • Service and maintenance on home charging dock and equipment • NRG pays
for all charging at eVgo stations in the eVgo network
Complete Plan: $89/Month • Standard
installation of home charging dock and equipment • Service and maintenance on home
charging dock and equipment • NRG pays for all charging at eVgo stations in the eVgo
network • NRG pays for all charging at home charging dock
NRG said that Direct Energy
and TXU Energy, along with NRG subsidiaries Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy,
“are working with NRG to make the eVgo network a success.”
Many details of the interaction between the customer's REP and eVgo are still being
worked out, several of the participating REPs told Matters on background. However,
as of now, the charging plans will be sold under NRG eVgo, as opposed to the customer's
REP. Being served by one of the four REPs participating in the eVgo program will
give customers to ability to enroll on an eVgo plan and access the charger network.
As the plans will be sold by NRG eVgo, REPs at this time are not offering their own
pricing or plans separately from the eVgo plans listed above, such as time-differentiated
charging plans, or charging plans which charge the EVs with renewable power (it is
not apparent in the initial three plans that anything other than conventional system
power will be used).
Additionally, one of the participating REPs believes that NRG eVgo will bill the
customer directly, at least initially, as opposed to the REP billing for the service
on the REP's bill.
For the home charging stations, the customer's "host" REP will still serve the load
connected to the charger, which will be separately metered in some fashion. For
the unlimited charging plans with a flat fee, the customer would not be billed (or
billed and then credited back) for such charging usage on their REP bill.
The customer, at least when on a flat fee with unlimited charging plan, will pay
NRG eVgo the flat monthly rate, with NRG eVgo then compensating the REP for the load
served. Where the customer does not sign up for an unlimited charging plan, it is
not entirely clear what rate the customer would pay for charging, though it was suggested
that the customer might pay their standard contract rate for electricity as in their
REP contract (as opposed to an eVgo-specific rate).
For the public chargers, where customers from multiple REPs would be accessing the
charger, it is not clear who will be the load serving entity, though it would seem
there would have to be a single designated LSE. NRG eVgo will not take title to
the power under any of the programs.
REPs contacted by Matters also declined to discuss the nature of the agreements they
have in place with NRG eVgo which allows their customers to access the charger. During
a conference call, NRG Energy CEO David Crane said that eVgo will be more than happy
to work with additional REPs to provide their customers access to the charging system
NRG plans to invest more than $10 million in Houston’s public charging station infrastructure
and will be the first company to equip an entire major market with the privately
funded infrastructure needed for successful EV adoption and integration. The company
is ready to expand these services across Texas as early adoption of electric vehicles
grows and spreads in the state.
The eVgo network starts with the installation of a Level 2 home charger at the new
EV owner’s home. The Level 2 charger can deliver up to 25 miles per charging hour,
allowing consumers to fully charge their vehicles overnight while they sleep.
eVgo continues on the road with Freedom Stations and Convenience Stations strategically
situated across the city at host partners’ facilities. eVgo Freedom Stations will
be open 24/7 and, in addition to Level 2 charging, will offer DC fast charging options,
enabling EV drivers to add 30 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes. NRG will
install approximately 50 eVgo Freedom Stations by mid-2011 at major shopping and
business districts and along all major freeways from downtown Houston to approximately
25 miles from the city center.
NRG is also working with retailers to install eVgo Convenience Stations to provide
Level 2 charging during the retail host’s store hours. NRG said that it simplifies
installation through turnkey hosting programs, “making it easy for Houston retailers
to provide these stations for their customers’ benefit.”
Among the initial public charging station hosts are Best Buy, Walgreens, H-E-B, and
Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods.