American energy company NRG Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary eVgo, is set to provide a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging network across California.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given approval to the agreement between the California Public Utilities Commission and NRG, allowing eVgo to start work on the EV charging network.

As a part of the deal, NRG is investing about $100m over the next four years in the eVgo California charging network, creating over 1,500 jobs and a total economic benefit of more than $185m.

The eVgo charging network will be fee-based, and will comprise nearly 200 publicly available fast-charging stations that allow drivers to add 50 miles of range in 15 minutes.

Stations will be located at premier retail locations in the San Francisco Bay area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County.

NRG Energy president and CEO David Crane said the latest FERC approval enables one of the major ‘public-private partnerships’ to move forward, and allows the company to bring the benefits of a comprehensive EV fast charging network to the largest population centres in California.

"This network will open the door for more California drivers to enjoy the enormous benefits of EV ownership," Crane added.

NRG Energy will also make EV ownership easy for people who live in apartment buildings and other multi-unit housing complexes through its ‘make ready’ commitment, under which it will install the wiring for about 10,000 individual charging stations at offices, multifamily communities, schools and hospitals.

Under the agreement, the company will also facilitate EV charging for all income levels, by installing at least 20% of the fast charging stations in low income areas, and will ensure that mixed-income housing locations are identified, evaluated, and pursued.

The company will invest $5m in partnership with researchers and stakeholders on technology demonstration projects that will test new charging and related technologies, and $4m in consultation with The Greenlining Institute, the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative and other key stakeholders.

In addition to its investment in EV infrastructure, NRG will contribute $20m to the California Public Utility Commission for rate payer relief.

Image: eVgo charging network will comprise nearly 200 publicly available fast-charging stations located at premier retail locations across California. Photo: Courtesy of Business Wire.