Terry O'Day, vice president for NRG eVgo in California, at the new charging station at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Terry O’Day, vice president for NRG eVgo in California, at the new charging station at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Drivers of electric cars can now charge their vehicles while they shop at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets — thanks to a charging station unveiled Tuesday by NRG eVgo (a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc.) and the Simon Property Group, which owns the popular Carlsbad shopping destination. The new station, located on the southeast corner of the outlet mall between Starbuck’s and Rubios, has two chargers — a 480-volt direct current (DC) fast charger that can charge an electric car up to 80 percent in 30 minutes or less, and a traditional 240-volt alternating current (AC) Level 2 charger that can charge cars that do not have fast-charging options. The station is also wired for a second DC charger that could be used in the future to accommodate new technology.
A parking space for the NRG eVgo station at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

A parking space for the NRG eVgo station at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Terry O’Day, vice president for NRG eVgo in California, said this station — the first in Carlsbad and one of eight located within 30 miles of San Diego — is meant to encourage ownership of electric vehicles. NRG eVgo is building a network of these stations evenly distributed across the region so that those with electric cars can find places to charge their cars when they go out without having to worry about running out of power. “They make EV (Electric Vehicle) ownership easy because it enables drivers to get on and off the road in a very short period of time and while they’re charging their cars, they have access to great shopping and dining experiences,” he said. “… You can rely on your vehicle always being available to you and going wherever you need.” O’Day said NRG eVgo is building 200 of the stations throughout the state, including in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and in the San Joaquin Valley. In San Diego County, stations are open or under construction are located in San Diego, Del Mar, Chula Vista and Escondido.
Terri Mannes, general manager of the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Terri Mannes, general manager of the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

He added that placing a station in Carlsbad makes sense because it’s an important employment center (including for NRG Energy, which has employees at the power plant and also has its regional headquarter for NRG West in the city) and also because it’s a very popular destination. “The Carlsbad Premium Outlets have terrific parking for us and lots of terrific shopping opportunities, and it’s right here on the I-5 corridor where any driver in the region can use for connectivity and also to travel to Los Angeles,” he said. O’Day said the stations are one of the ways that NRG is fulfilling its commitment to becoming a leader in the new energy economy, particularly in renewable energy. He added that the Freedom Stations are also a way for NRG Energy to invest in the community, noting that the company is also investing in offering EV charging solutions to owners in office spaces and multi-family buildings. Terri Mannes, general manager of the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, said the Simon Property Group offers charging stations at 43 of its malls. “We’re very excited to be on the cutting edge of the movement that is building and electric charging network,” she said.
Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall charges an electric car at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall charges an electric car at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

She added that the stations show the company’s commitment to sustainability, along with moves such as bailing its cardboard, switching to hand dryers and using reclaimed water for landscaping. Mayor Matt Hall, who helped cut the ribbon on the charging station, said the addition of the charging station is welcomed in Carlsbad. “With the opening of this eVgo Freedom Station, Carlsbad becomes a top destination for a new audience — electric car drivers — who want to enjoy or beautiful beaches, top notch shopping and dining and active Southern California coastal lifestyle,” he said. “It’s the perfect addition to our world class city.”

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