eVgo Launches First Electric Car Location with Both Quick-Charge Standards
The first fast charger in the country featuring the new SAE combination plug was installed by NRG eVgo Monday in San Diego ahead of the opening of the Plug-In 2013 conference and expo. The charging station, located in the parking lot the Fashion Valley mall, also includes a CHAdeMO DC fast-charging connection and a J1772 Level 2 charger.
“I could see that transportation was going electric. We wanted to be ahead of the curve,” George Caraghiaur, senior vice president, sustainability for Simon Property Group Inc. told PluginCars.com. Simon Property Group owns the Fashion Valley mall.
San Diego is home to some 6,000 plug-in vehicles including a number of low-speed neighborhood vehicles, according to Simon Properties.
The SAE Combo Plug integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, and DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC charging at public stations into one vehicle inlet. Eight automakers from Europe and the U.S. cooperated in the plug’s creation. It was launched in 2012.
Currently, only one plug-in electric vehicle sold in the U.S., the Chevrolet Spark EV, is compatible with the combo-plug. Production of the Spark EV with the combo cord charging inlet began today, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly told PluginCars.com.
eVgo Picking Up Speed
The Fashion Valley site is the first charging station installed in Southern California by NRG Energy Inc. NRG eVgo is a subsidiary of NRG. As part of a settlement for overcharging customers for electricity during the 1999 energy crisis, Houston-based NRG is required to invest $100 million in the installation of a network of at least 200 electric vehicle charging stations in California, to be completed by 2016. The company got off to a slow start, but has unveiled two stations in the past month.
“We have additional sites under construction today,” Terry O’Day, vice president of California business development for NRG eVgo told PluginCars.com. “We will have multiple openings over the next couple of months.”
Those sites will be clustered in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California, he said. NRG eVgo is also building a charging network in the Washington, D.C. area.
A few weeks ago, a fast charger was installed in Kimco’s Westlake Shopping Center in Daly City in the San Francisco Bay Area. An eVgo Freedom Station consists of a Level 2 charger plus one or more DC fast charging stations, according to NRG. The Daly City charging station is not equipped with an SAE combo plug.
“We are investing in a full range of charging solutions in specific markets,” said O’Day. “It is all about the network for us.”
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