Charging stations for electric vehicles are slated to be added at 18 Walgreen Co. drug stores in Houston as part of a program by NRG Energy.

Walgreens, NRG Energy, Houston, eVgosm, electric vehicles, charging stations, rapid-charging stations, electric vehicle charging stations, eVgosm network, Menno Enters, drug store, pharmacy, recharge electric vehicles, David Crane, recharging stations, green energy

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Walgreens stores in Houston to get vehicle charging stations

November 18th, 2010

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Charging stations for electric vehicles are slated to be added at 18 Walgreen Co. drug stores in Houston as part of a program by NRG Energy.

Walgreens said Thursday that it's the largest retailer participating in this program, with NRG expected to install the first eVgosm high-powered, rapid-charging stations at the initial store locations in February 2011.

The participating Walgreens stores —  in addition to electric vehicle charging stations at public parking facilities, other retailers and work places — will make up NRG's eVgosm network, which the pharmacy chain said will 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," Menno Enters, director of energy and sustainability at Walgreens, said in a statement. "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."

Once the network is deployed, 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 four to six hours, according to Walgreens.

NRG anticipates announcing the next eVgosm cities early next year. "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," stated NRG Energy president and chief executive officer 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."

Besides locations at Walgreens stores, charging stations in the Houston area will be situated along major freeways, in key shopping and business districts, and in multifamily 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," Enters commented. "With these charging stations, we can help our customers who embrace electric vehicles and environmental sustainability."

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 the plans, customers can avoid as much as $2,500 in upfront costs for a home charging station and installation.