The charging system will be launched first in Houston to EV drivers in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) market, the fourth-largest metropolitan area by population in America. The ecosystem is an integrated network of charging products, services and payment plans that helps make EVs practical for drivers.
NRG selected AeroVironment to provide home and public charging systems, installation services, energy usage monitoring and payment and subscription solutions in support of the Houston and DFW ecosystems. The companies inaugurated the DFW expansion today at a ribbon-cutting event in Dallas hosted by NRG’s president and CEO David Crane and featuring AeroVironment’s chairman and CEO Tim Conver.
In addition to supplying, installing and supporting smart home and public charging stations, AeroVironment will also provide the integrated data collection, communication and analysis systems that will power NRG’s eVgo network. NRG Energy plans to install a total of 70 Freedom Stations in the DFW area by the end of 2012, 35 of which are scheduled for installation by the end of 2011.
Freedom Stations comprise one EVSE-CS and one EV50-PS, a DC fast charging system that can fully recharge an EV in minutes. The eVgo charging network will give DFW’s EV drivers ready access to charging stations along major freeways, in key shopping and business districts, at popular retailers and in multi-family community and workplace parking areas.
According to the news release, AeroVironment and NRG Energy have developed a comprehensive charging solution that is ideally suited for NRG’s customers and is designed to make driving electric vehicles convenient and easy.
"An innovative business model like eVgo requires much more than just a charger hardware supplier, it requires a partner that understands the complete picture, including the full range of charging hardware, software, service and support,” said David Crane, president, CEO and director of NRG Energy, Inc. “AeroVironment is supporting our pioneering eVgo ecosystems in Houston and now Dallas Fort Worth with technology that will allow EV owners to drive with complete confidence."
AeroVironment has already begun installing charging stations in Houston and expects to install 25 Freedom stations by the end of summer 2011.
The DFW Ecosystem
Level 2 Home Charging Dock – AeroVironment’s EVSE-RS+ model is a grid-connected residential (single-family or multi-unit) system that recharges EVs or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) that comply with the J1772 standard, and will turn drivers’ homes into convenient, smart refueling hubs. Grid communication will allow the Home Charging Dock to charge automatically or be pre-programmed by NRG or the driver for optimal power draw so that it charges when energy consumption and energy costs are lowest.
Level 2 Commercial Charging Station – AeroVironment’s EVSE-CS model is a public level 2 charging dock with tamper-resistant features and secure smart card access, making it ideal for municipalities, retailers, shopping malls and wherever cars are parked and available for charging. This charging system is designed to provide a safe, reliable charge for all electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models that comply with the J1772 standard.
High Power DC Charging Station – AeroVironment’s EV50-PS can recharge an EV in minutes using high-power, DC charging for busy drivers with very little time to spare. This is the first charging station in the United States that is certified for use with EVs that use the CHAdeMO connector and communication protocol standard, (e.g., Nissan LEAF). Drivers will find this charging method is most similar to gas refueling, and is based on proven, fielded technology that has made AeroVironment the leading provider of heavy-duty EV fast charge solutions to some of the largest companies in the world.
Installation Services – members of AeroVironment’s growing, exclusive network of local, licensed, trained and certified electrical contractors provide turn-key home installation including facilitating permitting and inspections, as well as customer training and support services to ensure easy and reliable operation and use of the charging network. Electrical contractors interested in learning more about the network can visit www.avinc.com/joinev.
EV Network Services – in addition to residential and public charging systems, AeroVironment also provides data communications solutions that will allow individual subscribers to use any charger on the network and provide analytical tools and billing services for network operators.
“We look forward to continuing our work with NRG to provide practical, convenient charging ecosystems that will support EVs and their drivers,” said Tim Conver, AeroVironment chairman and chief executive officer. “Ecosystems like those we are deploying with NRG in Dallas and Houston will help increase the adoption of electric vehicles and bring us one step closer to energy independence.”
AeroVironment is a leader in the rapidly developing market for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Nissan North America selected the company to supply and install level 2 charging docks in support of the Nissan LEAF. In the initial quarter of its charging system rollout, AeroVironment deployed more than 1,000 level 2 charging docks in more than 340 communities across 18 states.
For the record, NRG Energy, Inc. is a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company that 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 25,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply nearly 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 transition to a clean energy economy. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com and www.evgonetwork.com.
AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces and supports, not only comprehensive EV charging solutions include EV home charging, public charging, fast charging, data collection, grid-integrated communications and complete installation, training and support services for consumers, automakers, utilities, government agencies and businesses, but an advanced portfolio of electric transportation solutions and electric-powered Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). More information is available at www.avinc.com and www.evsolutions.com.
About the Author: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks and writes articles, books and ebooks via authorfrank.com, but may be contacted here by email: [email protected]
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