Walgreens enters the EV Charging Station business

Level 2 EVSE

Nation’s largest drugstore chain to offer EV charging stations

Walgreens has partnered with NRG Energy to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at 18 Walgreens stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. NRG says that 30 charging docks will be installed by Labor Day, including stations installed at public parking areas, other retailers and workplaces. All charging facilities will offer high-speed 480 volt DC quick charge stations that will add about 30 miles of range for every 10 minutes of charging. Also available will be the more common Level 2 equipment which provides about 12 miles of range for each hour of charge for the Nissan LEAF.

Current plans include about 70 charge stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth market and about 50 in Houston by the end of next year. Also on the books are charge stations along Interstate 45 to ease the commute between the two markets, which are about 250 miles apart.

NRG’s eVgo Network offers an alternative to buying one’s own charging equipment. For a flat fee ($49 per month), you get the installation of the charging equipment in your home, but must still pay for the electricity used to charge your car. $79 per month gets you unlimited charging at eVgo stations, but you still pay for your electricity use at home. For $89 per month, the rate includes electricity used at home plus the use of eVgo network stations. All of these rates come with a three year service agreement.

Frankly, we see no reason to join the eVgo network. If buying or leasing a LEAF you can finance the cost of the charging station if you need to. There is a 50% federal income tax credit on the purchase and installation cost of the EVSE (up to $1,000). It comes with a warranty. Plus, once it’s paid for, you are only paying for the cost of electricity. With the eVgo network plan, you continue to pay for the cost of renting the EVSE. The only downside is, according to the current information on the website, you must be a member of the network to charge at any of their stations. According to Question 15 on their FAQ page:

Q: Who can charge at eVgo Network charging stations?
A: Anyone can sign up to become a member and charge at all of our eVgo Network charging stations.

We imagine that others will also offer charging stations without the hefty monthly charges. Certainly all Nissan stations will offer Level 2 charging to Nissan customers during business hours. Then again, it is probably only a matter of time before the retailers that install the equipment in the eVgo network will see non-network members driving by their stations to use other facilities and request a renegotiation of their terms. We have already seen some anecdotal evidence that this is happening.

This entry was posted in Battery/Charging Experience, Charging Infrastructure, Driving Experience, Driving Range, Incentives, Industry News, Is the Nissan LEAF right for me?, LEAF 101, LEAF Acquisition, LEAF Information, LEAF Ownership, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Walgreens enters the EV Charging Station business

  1. Pingback: The state of EV infrastructure development in mid-2011 — Living LEAF

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