Cars Green Mountain Energy introduces wind power program for charging electric vehicles in Texas

Published on April 23rd, 2011 | by Tina Casey


Texas Gets First Wind-Powered Cars in the U.S.

April 23rd, 2011 by  

Green Mountain Energy introduces wind power program for charging electric vehicles in TexasBy now it’s common knowledge that Texas is poised to transition from the fossil fuel economy into wind power (to say nothing of solar power), so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that wind powered cars are making their first U.S. appearance in the Lone Star State, courtesy of the alternative energy leader Green Mountain Energy.  The company has just introduced a new “electricity product” for residential use, which makes wind power available to anyone who pays a home electricity bill and owns an electric vehicle.

Wind Power without a Home Wind Turbine

Of course, a wind-powered car could be available to anyone with a micro wind turbine and an electric vehicle, but that is a rather limited field at least for now. Green Mountain opens up the wind-powered car market to far more consumers. If you’re familiar with home electricity plans that let you designate wind power or other clean energy as your sources (often for a small surcharge), that’s the basic idea. You don’t get a special transmission line from the nearest wind farm straight to your home – your electricity is still coming from whatever mix your grid supplies –  but by designating this kind of plan you draw more clean energy into the market, and you can sign up for enough clean energy to cover your average usage. In this regard EVs are just like any other home appliance, so if you factor them into your clean energy plan then you’ve got an instant wind-powered car (or solar, or whatever).

The Pollution Free Electric Vehicle

Green Mountain calls its plan Pollution Free EV, and it has partnered with an EV charging station company called eVgo to provide the wind-powered car service. Customers of Pollution Free EV get a home charging station installed by eVgo, and Green Mountain provides electricity generated from 100 percent wind power. Customers also get to use eVgo’s charging station network for a monthly rate.

The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Powered Cars

In the same sense that Pollution Free EV enables you to have a wind-powered car, then you could also have a car powered by any other source that feeds your grid.  Well that’s possible in theory, but in reality it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to pay a small surcharge just so they can say that their EV is powered by nuclear energy. Speaking of nuclear energy, in an interesting twist the parent company of eVgo is the energy giant NRG, which has just dropped out of a deal to build two new nuclear reactors in Texas. The company cites the chief reason as regulatory uncertainty following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, but a Texas-sized surplus of wind power in Texas may have also played a role in NRG’s sudden disinterest in nuclear energy.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • Marshall Franzman

    My name is Marshall I have the best wind powered vechicle out there today my phone is 763 438 9111for information. I’ve been to chevy, crysler & Ford in Detroit have filed two pattens. I drive a wind powered, Ford truck & will take on a Toyota preis dollar for dollar on who goes farther.

  • Anonymous

    Surcharge/charge costs would be a nice addition to this article.

    How much of a premium does Green Mountain charge? How does the monthly rate for using the eVgo work?

    People who drive 50 miles a day (50% more than the US daily average) need to plug in to a standard 110vac outlet in about ten hours (9pm to 7am tops you up).

    There’s no need for even a 220vac outlet for charging unless you drive a lot more than average. Then with the simple sort of outlet that one uses for an electric clothes dryer one can charge their 100 mile range EV from fully discharged to fully charged in eight hours.

    (Based on Nissan Leaf charge times.)

  • James

    I’d gladly pay a small surcharge if I could say my car was powered by a Mister Fusion.

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