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California Governor announces $120M settlement with NRG will fund electric car charging stations across California; new Executive Order to accelerate commercialization of ZEVs

California Governor Edmund Brown Jr. and the California Public Utilities Commission to announced a $120-million settlement with NRG Energy Inc. (stemming from claims reaching back to Dynegy and the California energy crisis in 2000 and 2001) that will mostly be applied to fund the construction of a statewide network of plug-in vehicle charging stations, including at least 200 public fast-charging stations and another 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state.

The Governor also signed an executive order (EO) designed to accelerate the commercialization of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). The EO instructs all state government entities under the Governor’s control to “support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles” and sets out specific targets to lay the foundation.

This executive order strengthens California’s position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles, and the settlement will dramatically expand California’s electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

—Governor Brown

Settlement. The agreement, pending approvals and finalization, resolves outstanding litigation arising out of a long-term electricity contract entered into over a decade ago by a subsidiary of Dynegy, Inc., then a co-owner with NRG of the portfolio of power generating plants currently owned by NRG in California. NRG assumed full responsibility for resolving this matter in 2006 when NRG acquired Dynegy’s 50% interest in the assets. $100 million from the settlement will fund the fast-charging stations and the installation of the plug-in units and electrical upgrades. The remaining $20 million will be directed to the CPUC for ratepayer relief.

[Dynegy, along with Enron and several other energy companies, was accused of energy price manipulation during the California electricity crisis that began in May 2000. Dynegy had also emerged as a white knight bidder for Enron, but scrapped the merger before closing. Enron subsequently declared Chapter 11 and unsuccessfully sued Dynegy. Buyout firm Blackstone Group acquired Dynegy in 2010, and power producer NRG Energy Inc. paid Blackstone $1.36 billion for Dynegy plants in California and Maine. ]

The fee-based network of charging stations funded by the settlement and to be built by NRG will be installed in the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County.

The settlement will launch a virtuous circle in which ever more Californians will feel comfortable driving EVs, and growing EV sales will in turn attract ever more investment in charging infrastructure to our state.

—CPUC President Michael Peevey

The new ZEV (zero emission vehicle) regulations approved by the California Air Resources Board in January as part of the Advanced Clean Cars package (earlier post) requires minimum numbers of battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles to be sold into California, with an anticipated target of 15.4% of new vehicles by 2025 (i.e., one in 7 new cars).

Executive Order. Governor Brown also ordered that the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Commission and other relevant agencies work with the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative and the California Fuel Cell Partnership to establish benchmarks to help achieve by 2015:

  • Major metropolitan areas will be able to accommodate zero-emission vehicles, each with infrastructure plans and streamlined permitting; and

  • The manufacturing sector will be expanding zero-emission vehicle and component manufacturing;

  • The private sector’s investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure will be growing; and

  • The State’s academic and research institutions will be contributing to zero-emission vehicle research, innovation and education.

The Executive Order also calls for benchmarks to achieve the following by 2020:

  • The state’s zero-emission vehicle infrastructure will be able to support up to one million vehicles;

  • The costs of zero-emission vehicles will be competitive with conventional combustion vehicles;

  • Zero-emission vehicles will be accessible to mainstream consumers;

  • There will be widespread use of zero-emission vehicles for public transportation and freight transport;

  • Transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions will be falling as a result of the switch to zero-emission vehicles;

  • Electric vehicle charging will be integrated into the electricity grid; and

  • The private sector’s role in the supply chain for zero-emission vehicle component development and manufacturing State will be expanding.

Benchmarks ordered for 2025 include:

  • More than 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles will be on California roads and their market share will be expanding; and

  • Californians will have easy access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure;

  • The zero-emission vehicle industry will be a strong and sustainable part of California’s economy; and

  • California’s clean, efficient vehicles will annually displace at least 1.5 billion gallons of petroleum fuels.

The Executive Order further mandates a California target for 2050 of a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector equaling 80% less than 1990 levels.

AB 32, the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, calls for a 30% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. An overall goal of a reduction of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 was set by an executive order signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Brown’s Executive Order further calls for the state vehicle fleet to increase the number of its zero-emission vehicles through the normal course of fleet replacement so that at least 10% of fleet purchases of light-duty vehicles be zero-emission by 2015 and at least 25% of fleet purchases of light-duty vehicles be zero-emission by 2020.

This directive shall not apply to vehicles that have special performance requirements necessary for the protection of the public safety and welfare.



This is a must to introduce electrified vehicles on a more massive scale.


1990 - the ZEV laws bring EV1/RAV4EV/others

2000 - Enron games the market robs CA
GM sees Bush will steal the White House and will not support ZEV, sells the batteries and scraps the cars.

2001 - Bush steals the While House, pretends he does not know Ken Lay of Enron, flip flops on CO2 and tears up the Kyoto Treaty.

2007 - A Democratic House passes assistance for car makers to make more efficient cars.

2008 - Congress passes incentives for electric cars and EREVs.

2009 - We have a President that believes in clean air, renewable energy and alternate fuels.

2012 - California has Jerry Brown back as Governor, gets a settlement from the thieves and puts in chargers.


SJC, well spoken. May the voters remember.


You are welcome, I could not resist reviewing the events over time leading us here :)


What happened in Nov 2004? Did the two wars help?


Always liked Governor "Moonbeam." A hearty thanks for making the crooks pay for their underhanded corruption. This episode is yet ANOTHER reason to implement distributed energy. Putting energy production in local hands eliminates the kind of abused utility companies like Enron engage in.

In fact the entire notion of centralized services is now being challenged. Centralized power, puts energy in the hands of a very few (1%??) - who are history tells us, highly corruptible. With energy production in the hands of the user - we avoid these issues. As well as the 660k miles of decrepit power lines needed to transmit that energy across the continent.

There is a solution. It is being developed now by NASA, NAVY, entrepreneurs, and evolved scientists. It is already changing the world for the better.


God!.. Reel enough with the cold fusion stuff..

To the Hilt: California and Back w/o Gas - A Nissan Leaf adventure


One of the distributed ways towards Sustainable Mobility is solar panels and EVs. Put enough panels on your house, go on the grid and charge at night.



Yes, but you're forgetting the 10 benefits of the two wars:

10) The cheap oil they gave us so we have $2.00 gas now!

9) We got rid of all the nukes Saddam had built

8) We have the love, respect and appreciation of the Iraqi and Afghan people

7) They are both now staunch democracies and great allies for America in the region

6) They both have freedom of religion and tolerance in their gov't

5) We saved the lives of thousands of our soldiers by putting them in a friendly place like Afghanistan rather than worry about those horrid training accidents here in the US.

4) We convinced the Iranians we are very powerful and that they should not F with us.

3) Out of fear, the Iranians have completely disavowed nuclear programs

2) We took all the money we "saved" by doing the wars and helped reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

And the number 1 Reason why the two wars helped us...

1) We now have the love and respect of the entire world and their appreciation and support in all we do!



Yeah, I forgot about all that stuff :)

One year of what we spent in Iraq would build 100 synthetic fuel plants producing 100 million gallons per day. That would be enough to eliminate middle eastern and OPEC oil imports to the U.S. forever.

Bob Wallace

Those who think that a certain entrepreneur is on the verge of providing the world with electricity, too cheap to meter, might want to read this article. I'll copy the first paragraph...

"It was Captain Kirk of the starship "Enterprise" who said that it is not a good idea to put oneself in a no-win situation. Good advice that was not taken by Mr. Andrea Rossi, inventor of the "E-Cat," the cold fusion device that he claimed to be able to solve the world's energy problems. After having been unable to show that his device produces energy, Mr. Rossi stated that he didn't need any more tests because he could now proceed to market it in millions of pieces. But, in reality, Mr. Rossi had simply placed himself in a no-win situation. The E-Cat is now fast sinking, hit by the contradictions of its inventor."


Excellent observations DaveD.

Those were the days of good governance and good times.


drum roll...and the number ONE reason in the Top Ten list is...

The war was paid for by Iraqi oil!


SJC "One year of what we spent in Iraq would build 100 synthetic fuel plants producing 100 million gallons per day. That would be enough to eliminate middle eastern and OPEC oil imports to the U.S." I think you might want to clean up your numbers a little. We import 10 million barrels a day or 420 million gallons so its going to take more than that to get us off foreign oil. That said, it would be a good start.



Actually, if you do the math, he is correct. If you look at what he said, he was mostly least about the middle east part.
I'm not including Venezuela as they are not Middle East, but they are members of OPEC. But strictly speaking, the ones that are truly from the Middle East provide 25% of that 420million or ~100 million gallons a day.


These are based on YTD numbers through Aug of 2011...the most recent I could find.


I use rounded estimates, of the 10 million barrels of oil I use 4 million coming from OPEC. We get oil from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, but not from Iran. so I combined that with what we get from Venezuela.

Whether it is 100 fuel plants of 150 sort of misses the point. The point is that for an investment much less than the price of war we do not have to go to war for oil in the middle east again.


I can agree with your numbers, unfortunately as much as I would like to see us get off opec oil, as long as we are buying oil on the open market, I'm not sure that it would reduce our risk in the region. I also am not convinced that we could produce that much synthetic oil. What would be the feed stock?


It is not synthetic oil, it is synthetic fuel, the kind of Gas To Liquid (GTL) that Shell and others have been doing for years.

From the LA Times about the chargers...

"To use the fast-charging stations, consumers will be able to pay for monthly subscriptions or pay as they go. The price of the monthly subscriptions has not yet been set, but the pay-as-you-go price will be between $10 and $15 per use, an NRG spokesman said.",0,3280349.story



"God!.. Reel enough with the cold fusion stuff.."

I am flattered at the company you put me in.



" long as we are buying oil on the open market..."

Now you're hitting on the real problem! This controls everything and is the reason why we can't drill our way out of the situation either.

Even if we could produce 100% of our oil by drilling locally...what? Do people think that American oil companies would be "good citizens" and forego profit they could make by selling it at $100/barrel on the world market and just sell it in the US for $60???

People think they are that "patriotic"? ROFLMAO



Good point, oil was at $3 per barrel before the 1970s then went to $14 per barrel after the embargoes. It was at $20 in 2000 then went to $147 in 2008. It is a world market for oil, it goes to the highest bidder.


And that is a truth the Republicans will never admit to, even though it completely follows their mantra "let the market decide".


They like it when they receive the dividends from the oil companies and the campaign contributions, so the extra that they pay at the pump is not problem. Everyone else...well too bad for you.

Henry Gibson

The definition of a ZEV must include any vehicle which also has a built in range extender of less than 10 kW that is not ever needed for the first 20 miles of travel with a fully charged battery. Ten kW is enough to move most passenger vehicles at the average speeds of city streets. Such range extenders need not be highly efficient because they will be rarely used. ..HG..

Account Deleted

California have to outsource alternative energy companies to fulfil their energy needs.

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