NRG Energy and the state of California have finally come to an agreement over a $120 million settlement over power contracts. These power contracts had a huge hand in contributing to California’s energy crises around 2002, and the money the state has finally received already has a plan: a car charging network for electric cars that might make owning an electric car more reasonable and less ‘of the future’ that it is now.
Some of the target areas for charging stations are places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. While $100 million of the money won is going to go towards these stations, the other $20 million will go towards programs that help lower electricity costs for Californians.
NRG Energy will benefit from this settlement as well however, as they are going to be hosting these car charging stations and have already named them eVgo. The company will be building the network over the next decade with most of the work taking place before 2016.
This settlement has not been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission or the FERC just yet however, though the NRG doesn’t anticipate any problems. If all goes according to plan, not only will the NRG build this network, they will own and operate it as well, and already have plans of expanding the network in California and into other states.
This is all part of California’s aggressive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through renewable electricity such as wind and sun power and requiring carmakers to roll out less polluting vehicles. This initiative also includes Gov. Gerry Brown stating he will sign an executive order to lay out goals towards about 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads of California by 2025.
Currently, there are only a few electric cars on the market, but the number is growing as the technology becomes stronger. Aside from hybrid cars that use both gas and electricity, there is the Chevy Bolt, the Nissan Leaf, and there is also a new car coming on the market that’s sedan sized and made by the Coda company. All three electric cars cost over $30,000, however there is a $7,500 federal government incentive for buying electric vehicles available. There are also business and cooperate tax refunds in the works for companies that switch their fleet of cars over to electric cars by 2020.