Who are NRG?
There’s a new EV Charging company coming to Nashville, NRG eVgo. NRG are a large energy company with a focus on electricity sales and distribution. They have smaller divisions that do Solar Energy and EV charging infrastructure. It’s the only Electric Utility that I know of that tries to promote and grow the EV charging infrastructure.
What are they doing here in Tennessee?
What are they doing in Nashville? They have adopted 7 DC Fast charging stations at Nashville area MAPCO and BP gas stations and are in the process of converting them into their nationwide network and will soon start charging a fee to use their stations. They offer three standalone charging plans and a charging plan that can be combined with their home charging stations.
Stand alone Charging Plans Compared
Which NRG fast charge plan is the best for your Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi i-Miev or Kia Soul EV?
FLEX Plan If you rarely use a DC Quick charger it is still advisable to get a charging card from eVgo “Just in case” you find yourself short on charge and short on time one day. Their “FLEX” plan does not attract a monthly fee and is just $4.99 to setup and get an access card.
If you charge 1 or 2 times per month at MAPCO Stations, the best plan is the “FLEX” plan.
“ON THE GO TOTAL” plan If you anticipate charging 3 or more times per month at MAPCO stations, then it makes sense to subscribe to their “ON THE GO TOTAL” plan. If you find yourself charging twice a month quite often it may be prudent to go with the more expensive “ON THE GO TOTAL” plan since a 3rd charge will cost much more on the FLEX plan, but the second charge is only slightly more expensive than the FLEX plan.
“LEVEL 2” plan eVgo’s “LEVEL 2” plan never makes sense in Nashville. There are no eVgo branded level 2 (240v) units in Nashville that I am aware of, just the DC Fast charge stations at MAPCO stations, so this plan isn’t favorable towards fast charging at all. In Nashville you should not subscribe to this plan regardless of the amount of fast charging you do or don’t do.
Charging Station plus “NETWORK ACCESS” plan
If you anticipate charging 18 or more times at a MAPCO station per month, then it becomes cheaper to rent an eVgo home charging station for $29.95 per month plus a $20 NETWORK ACCESS plan that provides unlimited public charging at no extra cost.
If you plan to rent an eVgo home charging station anyway, then you only have to fast charge charge 2 or more times per month for the NETWORK ACCESS plan to make sense.
Nissan “No Charge to Charge Customers”.
If you have purchased a new Nissan LEAF since May 2014 you are eligible for a Nissan plan and access card that provides 2 years of free public charging. NRG eVgo are participating in the Nissan No Charge to Charge program so it does not make sense to get an eVgo charging plan until the Nissan program runs out for your vehicle.
When is the right time to sign-up?
Sign up for the FLEX plan now. There is no official word when eVgo will start charging for the use of their stations. Currently they are free to use. Several of the MAPCO units have the NRG eVgo livery on them together with the addition of an access card scanner. I will sign-up for their “FLEX” Plan now in order to have a card and retain access to the units. There is no monthly fee or cancellation fee with the FLEX plan, so I can convert it to another plan later if I feel its to my advantage to do so. A one time setup fee of $4.95 is a no brainer in order to retain access in an emergency. My advice is sign-up for the FLEX plan now.
A few units also have customized software with the NRG eVgo logo and instructions how to use. The unit at Wedgewood Avenue is setup to limit charging to 30 minutes, the unit in Brentwood/Cool Springs is setup to limit charging to an 80% charge. NRG maybe experimenting with the best approach to limiting DC Fast Charging sessions in Tennessee.
Free Spreadsheet available showing analysis
The analysis I did is in an Excel spreadsheet. Feel free to download the spreadsheet here.
Membership Card takes 10 days to arrive in mail
The eVgo card and account setup takes about 10 days from ordering to delivery in the mail. I ordered my card on the 16th September and received it on the 25th.
Don’t wait until NRG activate their card readers in Tennessee to order your card, you maybe stuck with a low charge and no easy way to get a rapid charge.