Angie Vorhies leaves her Nissan Leaf electric vehicle charging station as she heads for shopping at a mall Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A New Jersey energy company required by an unusual legal settlement to build an extensive network of electric car chargers throughout California has delivered just 10 percent of what it promised in the first year.
By fortifying the state’s still-spotty charging infrastructure, the settlement between NRG Energy Inc. and California energy regulators was sold as key to jump-starting enthusiasm for the non-polluting vehicles. More places to “refuel” would diminish worries of getting stranded with a dead battery, and widespread adoption of the cars would help the state meet ambitious air quality goals.
Instead of Californians plugging in, however, progress has been plugged up: Just 110 of the 1,040 stations that NRG committed to installing by early December are ready.
The subsidiary responsible for building the stations, NRG eVgo, blames a series of unanticipated problems, including a reluctance among owners of malls, offices and apartment buildings to provide space for the chargers — even when the company subsidizes their cost.
The count of new stations so far, released to The Associated Press, is likely to renew concern over the settlement and whether NRG eVgo will be able to comply over its four year term. NRG eVgo said it expects a burst of activity in 2014 will Login to read more