New electric car charging station under construction on Sawdust

By: Bryan Shettig
| Published 06/15/2012

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas –– Electric car drivers, get ready for another charging station in the area.

An eVgo charging station is being built on Sawdust Road outside of the H-E-B and is set to open in early July, said David Knox, a spokesperson for the Houston-based eVgo.

The Sawdust location joins two other charging stations in the parking garage at Market Street operated by another company.

eVgo also operates on a subscription basis, Knox said, where users pay $89 a month and can charge at any of the DC volt stations as much as they want and also get a free home charger, which can run for a couple thousand dollars. A Nissan Leaf, for example, can get a 50-mile charge in 15 minutes or less at one of the stations, Knox said.

“People like these kinds of charging stations because if they have some unexpected trips during the day and they need a charge, they can get one," he said. A Chevy Volt, which is a hybrid, can go 45 miles on an electric charge; a Nissan Leaf can go 80 to 100 miles on a charge, but doesn’t have a gas backup tank.

eVgo has been working closely with car manufacturers, Knox said, including Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi and currently has 12 charging stations in the Houston area. The idea is to have about 50 stations soon, that will join a proposed 70 stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The company is partnering with businesses, including H-E-B, Walgreens, Whole Foods and the Memorial City Mall, to put in charging stations.

The independently owned company, which is not government subsidized, opened its first station Sept. 8, 2011, and is based out of the Energy Corridor off Interstate 10, ironically, where a Hummer dealership once stood.

“Texas is one of the early EV adoption areas,” Knox said. Critics have said that while electric cars may seem green, they’re still using electricity that can come from “dirty” sources such as coal plants, but Knox rebutted, saying electricity in Texas doesn’t just come from coal plants.

“Power here in Texas is a mix, it comes from coal, natural gas, wind and a little hydro,” he said. “Coal that is well-scrubbed is very clean too. And even then, if an electric vehicle was getting electricity solely from a coal plant, that's still cleaner than a gas vehicle and preventing pollution from going into the air.”

eVgo also works to ensure that electricity is coming from clean natural gas, coal and renewable energy sources.

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