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The city of Houston and state of Texas took a significant step closer to a transportation system that is clean, affordable and powered by electricity. Reliant Energy, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc., and Nissan Motor Company are working together to promote broader adoption of electric vehicles.
Reliant and Nissan have reached an agreement to work together to make Houston a launch city for the broader use of electric vehicles by the American public, businesses and public organizations. The companies will advocate for policies that make it easy for consumers to make the switch from gasoline to electric-powered vehicles and will work together to establish the infrastructure of charging stations needed to support a critical mass of electric vehicles. While initial efforts will focus on the Houston region, Reliant and Nissan will also address the challenge of establishing the infrastructure, policies and services to support electric vehicle owners across Texas.
“This agreement with Nissan is another part of our comprehensive effort to speed up the adoption of a broad-based electric-powered transportation ecosystem,” said David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG. “We have much of the needed infrastructure in place – an excellent road system, a diverse national portfolio of power generation, and the means to deliver electricity to homes, offices, businesses and streets across the nation. Now we need to focus on tying these elements together with the technology, services and policies needed to power electric transportation.”
“We can now see a clear path to having thousands – even hundreds of thousands – of zero-emission vehicles on Texas roads in the next several years,” said Jason Few, President of Reliant Energy. “Reliant has already introduced smart electricity for homeowners, allowing them to better manage consumption and cost with tools such as digital meters. By adding a robust charging network and services dedicated to electric vehicles, we will be able to offer a viable alternative to fossil-fuel powered transportation, taking advantage of Texas’ leadership in zero-carbon power generation.”
“Together, Nissan, NRG and Reliant Energy share the vision that electric vehicles offer the best solution to reducing CO2 emissions. The Nissan LEAF is the only all-electric, zero-emission vehicle that will be available to drivers on a mass-market scale and at an affordable price,” said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn.
As part of the agreement, Reliant will develop a plan to install and operate public charging stations, initially focused in Houston. In addition, Reliant will work to develop a comprehensive set of electricity services geared to supporting electric vehicles, including home charging equipment. Reliant and Nissan will work to ensure that the infrastructure and services are in place to support the commercial introduction of the Nissan LEAF in late 2010.
Representatives from Reliant, NRG and Nissan made the announcement in Los Angeles at the North American unveiling of the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first zero-emission all-electric vehicle designed to be affordably priced. In 2010, Nissan will introduce a five-passenger, compact all-electric passenger vehicle for fleet sales that is capable of achieving 100 miles on a single charge. Charging of the advanced lithium-ion battery is expected to take four to eight hours with a 220-volt line and also will be capable of charging through a standard 120-volt outlet. The vehicle will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.