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City and Reliant promote plug-in cars

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Reliant Energy and the City of Houston Launch Electric Vehicle Pilot Project

Plug-in cars, charging stations point toward lower emissions, cleaner air

HOUSTON - The City of Houston and Reliant Energy, an NRG Energy company (NYSE: NRG), today launched a program to bring plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to the streets of Houston, to demonstrate the important role that electric cars can play in the city's clean energy future.

The program, dubbed the "Power of the Plug-In," includes converting 10 city-owned Toyota Prius cars to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and installing 10 vehicle-charging stations to power them. The Power of the Plug-In is designed to raise consumer awareness and education about plug-in electric cars and to promote Houston and Texas as an electric vehicle center. Seven of the 10 stations will be available to the public, representing the largest public charging infrastructure in Texas.

"We're committed to making Houston the nation's green energy capital," said Houston Mayor Bill White. "That commitment begins at City Hall and these clean-running electric cars and the charging stations that will be available to all Houstonians will get us farther down that road."

"We envision thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of electric cars on our roads in the coming years, making Houston's air cleaner and the city greener," said Reliant Energy President Jason Few. "Our pilot project gives both Reliant and the City of Houston the opportunity to learn more about the performance of electric vehicles and the needs of drivers while promoting consumer awareness and education about plug-in electric cars. Reliant is committed to making Houston and Texas the electric vehicle capital of the United States. We think big in Texas and we have big plans."

"The more we know about consumer habits, the better we can provide the infrastructure and the products and services to meet the needs of electric vehicle owners and drivers in Texas," said Few. "Ultimately, this is about providing consumers the tools - in this case the charging infrastructure - and information - like that we will get from this trial - so they can make informed choices about how they use energy."

The 10 Reliant-provided charging stations will be located around Houston, with public stations at City Hall, the Health Department office at 8000 Stadium Drive and at the Mayor's Citizens Assistance Office at 9615 Rustic Wood, Kingwood. Reliant chose Campbell, Calif.-based Coulomb Technologies, Inc. to provide its ChargePoint® Networked Charging Stations. Coulomb is a leader in networked electric vehicle charging infrastructure and its network will enable the city to administer consumer access to the public stations.

The vehicles selected for conversion are 2009 Toyota Prius hybrids, which are already used extensively by the city. The plug-in conversion module is the Hymotion L5 provided by A123 Systems, a leader in development of lithium-ion batteries for use in electric cars.

The converted plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can deliver up to 100 miles per gallon, helping to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Studies show plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with a 20-mile electric driving range can reduce vehicle carbon dioxide emissions by up to two thirds depending on the generation source for the vehicle's electricity when compared with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Electric vehicles also provide long-term affordability. While electric cars generally cost more to purchase, largely due to the high cost of lithium-ion batteries, the vehicles do not require typical engine maintenance, such as oil changes. Electric vehicles are also less expensive to operate because electricity costs less on a per-mile basis than gasoline.

In a related development, Reliant and Nissan announced on Friday they have reached an agreement to work together to make Houston a launch city for the broader use of electric vehicles by the American public, businesses and public organizations.

The companies will advocate for policies that make it easy for consumers to make the switch from gasoline to electric-powered vehicles and will work together to establish the infrastructure of charging stations needed to support a critical mass of electric vehicles. Both announcements are part of Reliant Energy and NRG's commitment to being part of the solution to climate change by developing a fleet of low- and no-carbon power generation facilities.

To learn more about this and other sustainability efforts by the City of Houston, visit www.greenhoustontx.gov.

About Reliant Energy:

Reliant Energy provides electricity and energy services to more than 1.6 million retail customers-including homes, small and large businesses, manufacturing facilities, government entities and institutions across Texas. As part of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG), Reliant Energy is backed by one of the nation's largest power producers. NRG owns and operates more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity, including more than 11,000 megawatts of capacity in Texas. For more information about Reliant Energy products and services, visit www.reliant.com. For more information about NRG, visit www.nrgenergy.com.

Safe Harbor Disclosure

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and

assumptions include expectations regarding the development of electric vehicles and include statements which typically can be identified by the use of words such as "will," "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "forecast," "plan," "believe" and similar terms. Although NRG believes that its expectations are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct, and actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated above include, among others, general economic conditions, hazards customary in the power industry, competition in wholesale and retail power markets, the volatility of energy and fuel prices, failure of customers to perform under contracts, changes in the wholesale and retail power markets, changes in government regulation of markets and of environmental emissions, and the condition of the capital markets.

NRG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The foregoing review of factors that could cause NRG's actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements included in this news release should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect NRG's future results included in NRG's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov.

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Of course Reliant would encourage plug in cars. The only green they're concerned about is the green from your wallet.

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Of course Reliant would encourage plug in cars. The only green they're concerned about is the green from your wallet.

Is green technology only good if it is unprofitable?

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Is green technology only good if it is unprofitable?

It's not whether the technology is good or bad, but the motives behind pushing its use. Is the foremost reason to lessen oil dependence and vehicular pollution or is it to purely make a profit? Nothing wrong with making a profit as that's what Capitalism is all about, but an electric power company pushing plug in car use does make you wonder about their motives.

Edited by JLWM8609

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It's not whether the technology is good or bad, but the motives behind pushing its use. Is the foremost reason to lessen oil dependence and vehicular pollution or is it to purely make a profit?

So, good deeds are only good if done with a good heart? Charity given for the tax break is bad? Should I not purchase an electric car because Reliant wants to profit from selling me electricity? What about a Prius? Should I not buy one, since Toyota intends to make a profit from the sale? Should I not purchase BP's solar panels because BP is making money from them?

This sounds a whole lot like the argument from the whiners on the I-1- construction thread. Though they are normally pro-freeway, they oppose this rebuild because it is fund through Obama's Stimulus package.

I have said for years that conservation will not take hold until there is money to be made from it. I said that pushing tree hugging won't get us there on a large scale. Don't tell a wealthy Houston building owner that turning off his lights at night is good for the earth. Tell him that turning off the lights will save him a hundred grand. THAT will get his attention. Reliant pushing electric cars is exactly the kind of thing that the green movement needs. Feeling good can only get us so far. Besides, I have rum for that.

Edited by RedScare
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...but an electric power company pushing plug in car use does make you wonder about their motives.

I don't wonder at all. I know exactly what their motives are. I believe this is known in the business as a "win-win".

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So, good deeds are only good if done with a good heart?

That's why most people do good deeds in the first place.

This sounds a whole lot like the argument from the whiners on the I-1- construction thread. Though they are normally pro-freeway, they oppose this rebuild because it is fund through Obama's Stimulus package.

Please, DON'T try to equate my argument with that of those knuckleheads. Those guys are opposed to the project because of who is behind it. I haven't stated whether I'm opposed or in favor of this partnership. For the record, I don't think a few electric vehicles is going to make a noticeable, substantial difference in our local air quality. All I'm talking about is the motive given by them in the press release. Why don't they just come on out and say that it's a win-win situation for them and the City? Nothing wrong with truth.

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Sure, Reliant is pushing plug-in cars. Recharging those cars will not come cheap. As, far a being green. Mostly HYPE. All that electricity is generated with hydrocarbons, coal, oil, gas. Even the Nukes have hydrocarbons involved in building, maintaining, mining, processing and storage of fuel.

But if plug-in cars makes you feel good, go for it.

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Sure, Reliant is pushing plug-in cars. Recharging those cars will not come cheap. As, far a being green. Mostly HYPE. All that electricity is generated with hydrocarbons, coal, oil, gas. Even the Nukes have hydrocarbons involved in building, maintaining, mining, processing and storage of fuel.

But if plug-in cars makes you feel good, go for it.

But large-scale electricity generation is much more efficient than the internal combustion engine. So while you may be offloading the pollution to centralized facilities, the net effect is that large scale electric vehicle deployment would reduce overall pollution due to the gains in efficiency.

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Please, DON'T try to equate my argument with that of those knuckleheads. Those guys are opposed to the project because of who is behind it. I haven't stated whether I'm opposed or in favor of this partnership. For the record, I don't think a few electric vehicles is going to make a noticeable, substantial difference in our local air quality. All I'm talking about is the motive given by them in the press release. Why don't they just come on out and say that it's a win-win situation for them and the City? Nothing wrong with truth.

Yes, you're almost acting like THEM, except this doesn't involve a poltical slant (yet).

You also missed the point that 7 of the stations will be available for the public and that will allow the more gutsy of the earlier adoptors to be able to go further.

Red has it right; the green movement won't gain popularity if there isn't something in it for the consumers OR manufacturers of the goods.

Don't be on the far left of an argument. Its as unappealing as being the right end on the I10 thread.

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They should be pushing the e-cars in the delivery world. Such as the post office, fedex, ups. They also make sense in an urban environment.

But I sure do hate it when I am on a bike and a hybrid silently sneaks up behind me.

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But large-scale electricity generation is much more efficient than the internal combustion engine. So while you may be offloading the pollution to centralized facilities, the net effect is that large scale electric vehicle deployment would reduce overall pollution due to the gains in efficiency.

Yes, you are right! I read recently (I think it was in Popular Science) that something like 85% of the energy produced by an internal combustion engine is released as heat. Conversely, the situation is reversed with electric vehicles, with most of the energy being used to actually power the vehicle. So at the very least, the net effect of converting all cars to electric would be a massive gain in energy efficiency.

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But I sure do hate it when I am on a bike and a hybrid silently sneaks up behind me.

The Chevy Volt will have a "chirp" to warn pedestrians of the oncoming vehicle. =

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/daily-news/091123-Chevy-Volt-Will-Warn-Pedestrians-With-a-Friendly-Chirp/

Speaking of hybrid-pestrian accidents, while I can understand not hearing the oncoming vehicle due to the quiet EV mode, I don't understand why driving a hybrid would make someone more likely to hit a pedestrian or bicyclist in the first place.

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The Chevy Volt will have a "chirp" to warn pedestrians of the oncoming vehicle. =

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/daily-news/091123-Chevy-Volt-Will-Warn-Pedestrians-With-a-Friendly-Chirp/

Speaking of hybrid-pestrian accidents, while I can understand not hearing the oncoming vehicle due to the quiet EV mode, I don't understand why driving a hybrid would make someone more likely to hit a pedestrian or bicyclist in the first place.

Much ado about nothing. With exhaust ports facing rearward, most vehicles do not project much noise forward anyway. Only a vehicle under acceleration makes enough noise to alert most pedestrians or cyclists, and most vehicles heading toward a dangerous situation involving a pedestrian or cyclist will be decelerating, not accelerating. Drivers of any vehicle approaching an inattentive pedestrian or cyclist tend to use their horn.

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Much ado about nothing. With exhaust ports facing rearward, most vehicles do not project much noise forward anyway. Only a vehicle under acceleration makes enough noise to alert most pedestrians or cyclists, and most vehicles heading toward a dangerous situation involving a pedestrian or cyclist will be decelerating, not accelerating. Drivers of any vehicle approaching an inattentive pedestrian or cyclist tend to use their horn.

Yeah, I agree. Hybrids aren't totally silent - they still make road/tire noise. I was in an electric vehicle last week and the road noise was the same as a regular car. They're hardly silent killers.

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