From being dubbed the Oil Capital of the US into the Leader of Wind Energy, Texas is still making great strides into the realm of clean energy. Although our senators may still be focused on oil , the private sector is turning Texas once again to clean renewable energy.
NRG Energy has committed $10 million to launch America’s first privately-financed electric vehicle charging network and plans to fully wire Houston to support electric cars without straining the grid in the next couple of years. NRG is operating through eVgo in North Texas and is expected to build 70 electrical charging stations by the end of March. Tokyo only needed 60 fast chargers to be fully wired, or only needed 60 chargers to facilitate all vehicles in the city, and Houston is expected to be fully wired with only 50-150. eVgo’s “Freedom Stations” have both level one (110V) and level two (208-240V) chargers that will be open 24/7. Thirty five should be completed in Houston by Labor Day with an additional 25 in Dallas. NRG plans to fully expand to the “Texas triangle” of Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth. As Dallas and Houston convert to EVs fewer emissions will be released, and the air quality in both cities should improve; more so, Green Mountain, which is owned by NRG, produces all energy from clean sources, including wind turbines in West Texas, so cars can be driven without emissions and have power from non-polluting power plants.
In order to get clean energy to the electric chargers Oncor is building 850 miles of transmission line from West Texas to Dallas. Wind energy blows strongest at night and it is expected that most cars will charge at night which makes it an optimal source of power for electric cars, as seen by the graph below;
Austin and San Antonio are also making the switch. Austin’s Plug-In Anywhere stations will fully charge a 16kWh battery in 2-3 hours and a 24kWh batter in 6-8. There are currently 116 public stations in 57 locations and Plug-In EVerywhere™ members can get unlimited charging for $25. However, Coulomb Technologies Inc. and Austin Energy will start installing public stations soon. Austin received $115 million in grant money for electrical car infrastructure. The Statesmen predicts that by 2020 there will be 190,000 EVs in Austin. .
If you want to learn more about EVs but missed your chance earlier this year to watch Revenge of the Electric Car we will be hosting the documentary 3 more times throughout Austin through the 12-18th. Find a location near you where we will be hosting the documentary or sign up to host it yourself!
-Beyond Coal Intern