Walgreens Electric-Car Charging Stations: The Rest of the U.S. Is Catching Up to Houston

Categories: Environment

Charging_Station_webready.jpg
Charge it up.
We can't say we've exactly seen the electric-car charging stations at various Walgreens around the town, but we'll take the company's word that they exist.

And now the rest of the nation will be following in Houston's footsteps, as the drug giant expands the concept to more than 800 locations nationwide by the end of the year.

The EV stations, where customers pay to charge up their cars in about the amount of time it would take to go and spend some money in a Walgreens, will be coming to Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

"Consumer interest and enthusiasm has been incredible and we're excited to provide locations to charge up in neighborhoods across the country," said Walgreens' Mark Wagner. "Walgreens will make up as much as 40 percent of all public EV charging stations across the country, making it easy for EV drivers to look to our stores for a quick charge near major highways, metropolitan areas or right in their neighborhood."

Like we say, we haven't noticed these stations, but then again we don't own an electric car.

But Houston has been getting a lot of pub for its enthusiastic embracing of the electric cars and public charging stations, most of it in the form of "Even in the oil capital of the country..." variety. The Walgreens Houston stations were scheduled to go up in February, so assuming they did, the rest of the country is eating our clean-air dust.

Just another example of Houston, Cutting-Edge Environmental Mecca. Watch out for the ozone, though.


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5 comments
Cool Music
Cool Music

We should first search for the best prices and options before purchasing an electric car because they are expensive.

Allison B.
Allison B.

I don't even know anyone with an electric car. How many are even on the street in the Houston Metro area?

RC
RC

What is the burden on the electric grid when everyone switches to electric cars?   Does anyone know?  Will we need more nuclear energy plants or coal burning plants?  just asking... 

rgwalt
rgwalt

The idea is that electric cars themselves are more energy efficient than gasoline or diesel powered vehicles.  Without quoting sources, the Tesla Roadster gets around 90% outlet to wheel energy efficiency since the electric motor isn't limited by the Carnot cycle.  The most efficient combustion powered vehicles tend to be hybrids, which get about a 30% pump to wheel efficiency at best.

Now, factor in that we would need more grid capacity, but we could build a more distributed power generation system and could displace the use of oil/gasoline with "renewables" such as solar and wind, or with cleaner burning natural gas, or with relatively clean nuclear power.  Furthermore, if many users would charge their cars at night, the cars could make use of excess electrical generation capacity on the grid, so the need for new generating capacity may not be that significant.  Even if you have to burn coal, oil, or natural gas, power plants tend to be more efficient than combustion engines, and you could do CO2 capture of the emissions.  Essentially you are localizing pollution, which could allow for more effective management. 

The point is that electric cars give us options.  If I didn't have a 25 mile commute, if instead I was driving from my home in the loop to my job 5 or 10 miles away, I would strongly consider an electric car.  As the technology matures, I am willing to bet that the long term maintenanc costs would be lower than a traditional gasoline or diesel vehicle.

RC
RC

Thanks. Walgreens seems to be taking the "build it and they will come" approach. I applaud them but it seems risky. As you say a new infrastructure is necessary to increase an already overburdened and out of date grid system. This looks to be expensive and will not happen overnight. Nonetheless I am hopeful we can get there soon.

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