DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) is participating in the nation’s first privately funded and comprehensive electric vehicle support solution in Houston, where NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) 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 eVgosm 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 eVgosm network to help ensure anyone with an electric vehicle has 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.”
"Walgreens is playing an invaluable role in helping get this network started by being a founder host of community convenience chargers as we work together to bring the value of electric vehicles to Houston,” said NRG Energy President and CEO David Crane. "Walgreens will help ensure this all important initial launch is successful. We look forward to a long relationship that will help bring the same advantages of this alliance to other cities in the very near future."
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 eVgosm 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 eVgosm Service Plans
NRG’s eVgosm charging plans will cover recharging at home or at any recharging station, and will initially be priced from $49 to $89 per month. Through these plans, customers can avoid as much as $2,500 in upfront costs for a home charging station and installation. Instead, 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.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The company operates 7,608 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility, long- term care and mail service, along with pharmacy benefit solutions and respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Walgreens Take Care Health Systems subsidiary is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
NRG Energy, Inc., (www.nrgenergy.com) a Fortune 300 and S&P 500 Index company, owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company’s power plants provide more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply more than 20 million homes. NRG’s retail business, Reliant Energy, serves 1.6 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers in Texas. A past recipient of the energy industry’s highest honors—Platts Industry Leadership and Energy Company of the Year awards, NRG is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of business and environmental organizations calling for mandatory legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NRG Energy is a founding member of the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale. More information about the eVgosm network is available at www.evgonetwork.com.