in the driver seat

Houston renewable energy co. rolls out new EV program

Octopus Energy announced its new program to help make the move to electric vehicle driving easier and more affordable for Texas residents. Photo via Getty Images

A Houston-based renewable energy provider has announced a new program to get more electric vehicle drivers on Texas roads.

Octopus Electric Vehicles, a new initiative from Houston-based Octopus Energy Group, announced its DriveFree leasing program to help make the move to electric vehicle driving easier and more affordable for Texas residents.

“DriveFree gives you the freedom to drive without worrying about the cost of filling the tank or unexpected maintenance expenses,” Octopus EV US Co-Lead Nathan Wyeth says in a news release. “With the ‘electric fuel’ for daily driving included, DriveFree is the complete package to make EVs work for Texas drivers looking to lower their driving costs without locking themselves in.”

DriveFree will include the lease of a top-quality pre-owned car with all maintenance covered. Part of this coverage includes unlimited home charging on Octopus Energy’s home energy plan.

According to Octopus Energy Group, Texas drivers will save an average of over $1,000 per year by switching from a gas car to an EV with potential to save even more depending on the previous gas vehicle make and model. Houstonians will be able to select an EV and DriveFree plan at, get approved online, and schedule delivery by an Octopus EV Specialist.

The program will cover all maintenance and tires through a mobile mechanic service to a customer’s home or office. Leasing plans range from one to four years with mileage plans up to 25,000 miles/year, and 4 brands to choose from.

In a report by SmartAsset, Texas was No. 41 of states with the most electric vehicle chargers. Last year, the city of Houston approved $281,000 funding for the expansion of free electric vehicle rideshare services in communities that are considered underserved by utilizing services like RYDE and Evolve Houston in December. DriveFree is now in the mix in helping Texas get more involved in the mix.

“With DriveFree, we wanted to address all the concerns people have about switching to electric vehicles,” Octopus EV US Co-Lead Chris George says in the news release. “For the millions of Houstonians commuting to work, driving electric can be a money saver today. For the first time, the more miles you drive, the more your savings will be!”

Octopus Electric Vehicles is part of the U.K.’s Octopus Energy Group, which first launched Octopus Energy US in Texas in 2020 after its acquisition of Evolve Energy.

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A View From HETI

Here's 1PoinFive's newest customer on its Texas CCUS project. Photo via

Occidental Petroleum’s Houston-based carbon capture, utilization and, sequestration (CCUS) subsidiary, 1PointFive, has inked a six-year deal to sell 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal credits to software giant Microsoft.

In a news release, 1Point5 says this agreement represents the largest-ever single purchase of carbon credits enabled by direct air capture (DAC). DAC technology pulls CO2 from the air at any location, not just where carbon dioxide is emitted.

Under the agreement, the carbon dioxide that underlies the credits will be stored in a below-the-surface saline aquifer and won’t be used to produce oil or gas.

“A commitment of this magnitude further demonstrates how one of the world’s largest corporations is integrating scalable [DAC] into its net-zero strategy,” says Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive. “Energy demand across the technology industry is increasing, and we believe [DAC] is uniquely suited to remove residual emissions and further climate goals.”

Brian Marrs, senior director for carbon removal and energy at Microsoft, says DAC plays a key role in Microsoft’s effort to become carbon-negative by 2030.

The carbon dioxide will be stored at 1PointFive’s first industrial-scale DAC plant, being built near Odessa. The $1.3 billion Stratos project, which 1Point5 is developing through a joint venture with investment manager BlackRock, is designed to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

The facility is scheduled to open in mid-2025.

Aside from Microsoft, organizations that have agreed to buy carbon removal credits from 1Point5 include Amazon, Airbus, All Nippon Airways, the Houston Astros, the Houston Texans, and TD Bank.

Occidental says 1PointFive plans to set up more than 100 DAC facilities worldwide by 2035.

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