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California Invests $120 Million in Electric Cars

(CN) - The California Public Utilities Commission settled a decade-long dispute with NRG Energy that will fund a statewide network of charging stations for electric cars, Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday.

The $120 million settlement will be used to fund 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations around the state, and at least 200 public fast-charging stations, the government announced.

California reached the deal to resolve a claim against Dynegy, the predecessor to NRG Energy, for the costs of long-term power contracts.

In addition to the settlement, Brown announced that he signed an executive order that would help reach the goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2025.

"This executive order strengthens California's position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles," Brown said in a statement, "and the settlement will dramatically expand California's electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

That order will require all major California cities to have an infrastructure ready for zero-emission vehicles by 2015. By 2020 the state must have adequate supports for 1 million non-gas cars.

"This is a truly creative deal that offers tremendous value for California utility customers," State Public Utilities Commissioner Mike Florio said in a statement. "In one stroke it closes out an unfortunate chapter in our history and propels us down the road to a clean transportation future."

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