NRG Launches Nation’s First Privately Funded, Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Charging Ecosystem

Houston sets standard for electric vehicle infrastructure; additional cities in 2011 Reporter call scheduled for 10:30 am EST

HOUSTON--()--NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) 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 eVgosm (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 County. NRG’s eVgo offers access to these facilities and services to EV drivers for a flat monthly fee making EV charging simple, predictable and hassle-free. eVgo will be an “unlimited miles” package, offering unprecedented mobility at a fixed price for Houston-area EV drivers.

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 that leads the nation in energy innovation and deployment.

“The new age of personal transportation begins here in Houston with a new wave of exciting plug-in electric vehicles fueled by NRG. We are committed to ensure that electric vehicle ownership is fun, affordable and ultra-convenient and that EV owners feel 100% comfortable driving their plug-in car anywhere in the greater Houston area, secure in the knowledge that a fast charger is never more than a few miles away,” said David Crane, President and CEO, NRG Energy. “NRG’s eVgo offerings will allow Houston EV owners to drive with complete range confidence and cost certainty, immune to spikes in the price of gasoline or the other limitations of conventional car ownership. EV drivers will also know that they are making a difference in terms of our national energy security and the health of our local environment given that tailpipe emissions are the single largest source of air emissions in the greater Houston area. ”

The eVgo Network

The eVgo network starts with the installation of the “service station of the future,” 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. For a map of planned coverage zones, please visit www.evgonetwork.com.

NRG is also working with retailers to install eVgo Convenience Stations to provide Level 2 charging during the retail host’s store hours. NRG simplifies installation through turnkey hosting programs, making it easy for Houston retailers to provide these stations for their customers’ benefit.

Ready for EV

NRG also recognizes that many Houston-area employers want to encourage EV ownership and use for the good of both their employees and the greater community. To meet those needs, NRG has launched as part of eVgo a program called Ready for EV (“REV”). This program enables employers, property owners and managers to quickly and economically deliver dedicated charging options to individual EV drivers at work during the workday. NRG supports REV companies and property owners with a full-service solution that includes equipment, installation, maintenance and customer support.

eVgo Service Plans

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 has filed for a patent on its unique and innovative eVgo business model.

Partnerships for Success

“Transforming the way we look at transportation and gaining the many benefits EVs will bring to Houston will require many organizations to work closely together,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “NRG understands the challenges and has focused on forming partnerships with local and state government, auto manufacturers and dealers, power companies, charging equipment providers, and the broader business community to make convenient EV transportation a reality.”

The following companies are working with NRG to make the eVgo network a success:

Auto Sales and Rental

  • Nissan North America, leading the way in the Americas for the production, distribution and marketing of the world’s first electric car designed for affordability and real-world requirements – the Nissan LEAF.
  • Aptera, the maker of the all-electric, aerodynamic model 2e, is dedicated to the goal of making the most efficient personal transportation in the world.
  • Gulf States Toyota, one of America’s most successful private companies and one of the largest distributors in the world of Toyota vehicles.
  • Hertz, the world’s largest general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,300 locations in 146 countries worldwide.
  • smart USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc., is the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo in the United States and Puerto Rico, including the smart fortwo electric drive.

Charging Station Host

  • Best Buy Co., Inc., a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed at this time.
  • Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain operating 7,608 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • H-E-B, operating 329 stores in Texas and Mexico, serves millions of customers with its fresh food, quality products, convenient services and low prices.
  • Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods, which offers the best selection of wines, spirits, beers, liqueurs, cigars and in our larger stores, fine gourmet foods at 70 Texas locations.

Charging Technologies, Network Services and Smart Energy

  • AeroVironment, a technology solutions provider and leader in advanced electric vehicle charging systems and electric unmanned aircraft systems.
  • GE provides cities and communities the solutions needed to develop an electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including smart grid technology, state-of-the-art charging hardware and software systems.

Retail Electric Providers

  • Direct Energy, one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related service providers with over 6 million residential and commercial customer relationships.
  • Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 “to change the way power is made.”
  • Reliant Energy, a leading competitive electricity provider and the largest supplier of electricity to business and industry in Texas, with more than 1.5 million retail customers across the state—including homes, small and large businesses, manufacturing facilities, government entities and institutions.
  • TXU Energy, a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to more than 2 million electricity customers in Texas.

The National Benefits of EV Adoption led by Houston and Texas

At a rate of almost $30 billion per month, more than half of America’s trade deficit results from importing oil from foreign countries. EVs, powered by domestic fuel converted into electricity, including west Texas wind and Texas nuclear power, has the potential to reduce dramatically over time the ongoing transfer of American wealth to oil-producing nations.

For consumers, EVs will reduce the cost and increase the convenience of vehicle ownership. EV drivers, with a convenient, no-fuss fueling station in their garage, head out each morning for their day with a full tank of energy. No tune ups. No oil changes. With significantly fewer moving parts, EVs require less traditional maintenance than gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, saving consumers both time and money.

Every EV that displaces a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle benefits the local environment. Transportation accounts for more than a quarter of America’s greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of Houston’s nitrogen oxides emissions. EVs charged during the day from the Texas grid, using electricity generated by Texas’ current portfolio of nuclear, wind, coal and gas-fired generation produce substantially less environmental impact than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. However, most EV charging is expected to occur at night. This enables consumers to take advantage of Texas’ plentiful supply of zero emission nuclear power and west Texas nighttime winds to charge their vehicles while they sleep. Night charging also will minimize the potential grid impacts of the additional electrical loads from EV charging.

“With a charging station in their home and convenient stations available at retailers and employers around the city, Houston drivers will find they have an economical eVgo plan that will give them greater convenience than what they have had, growing up dependent on regular refuelings at gas stations,” said Arun Banskota, President of NRG’s EV Services Group. “The eVgo network and services will provide practical solutions for pragmatic Houston commuters to adopt EVs.”

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES

Reporter call—NRG will host a conference call with David Crane on the Company’s EV support network this morning, November 18, at 10:30 am Eastern / 9:30 am Central / 8:30 am Mountain and 7:30 am Pacific. Reporters interested in participating should call 866.383.7989 (617.597.5328 international) passcode 30118185 - or listen online at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=121544&eventID=3508325.

Download fact sheets, photos, logos and videos at https://www.evgonetwork.com/News_and_Events/Press_Room/

About NRG

NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 500 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 nearly 26,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply more than 20 million homes. NRG’s retail businesses, Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Company, combined serve more than 1.8 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers. With investments in solar, wind and nuclear power, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure, NRG is working to help America’s transition to a clean energy economy.

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 is available at www.nrgenergy.com.

About eVgo

eVgo is the nation’s first privately funded, comprehensive electric vehicle ecosystem. The eVgo network gives EV owners new freedom and range confidence via home charging and fast-charging stations conveniently located at major retailers, employers and along highways across eVgo cities. eVgo allows EV owners to avoid paying large up-front costs for a home charger and provides unlimited use remote charging—all for one low monthly fee. To find out more, or to join the eVgo network, visit www.evgonetwork.com.

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 electric vehicle 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.

Contacts

NRG Energy, Inc.
Media contacts:
Meredith Moore, 609-524-4522
David Knox, 713-795-6106
Lori Neuman, 609-524-4525
or
Investor Relations:
Nahla Azmy, 609-524-4526
Stefan Kimball, 609-524-4527
Erin Gilli, 609-524-4528

Contacts

NRG Energy, Inc.
Media contacts:
Meredith Moore, 609-524-4522
David Knox, 713-795-6106
Lori Neuman, 609-524-4525
or
Investor Relations:
Nahla Azmy, 609-524-4526
Stefan Kimball, 609-524-4527
Erin Gilli, 609-524-4528