Those quick-charging electric-vehicle charging stations NRG Energy Inc. was supposed to deploy in California for the state's "Electric Expressway"? So far, there's been nothing quick about them. NRG agreed last year to start building the DC fast chargers along the state's highways as part of a $100 million settlement with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and was supposed to start deploying the first of 200 quick chargers earlier this year. But it hasn't opened any, Plug In Cars says. The settlement was connected to NRG's alleged role in overcharging state customers during California's 1999 energy crisis.
NRG was to deploy the 200 stations over a four year period, but has run into challenges with permitting, property procurement and even the overall system design for its eVGO network of stations. One up and running, the stations can fully recharge an electric vehicle in about a half hour, according to Plug In Cars. Nonetheless, NRG executives say that stations will start opening "quite soon" and that the company is on the verge of disclosing pricing plans for the stations, about half of which are to be located in or near Los Angeles.
Last year, California-based charging-station provider Ecotality filed a lawsuit against the state for agreeing to a settlement that would theoretically give NRG an unfair advantage when it came to California charging-station deployment. That lawsuit was eventually dismissed.