SEATTLE - Food retail chain Fred Meyer plans to install ECOtality's Blink Level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) Commercial Pedestal Charging Station at select stores within EV Project regions in Oregon and Washington. 

The deal makes Fred Meyer ECOtality's first food retail partner in the Northwest. 

"ECOtality's goal has always been to install a robust charging infrastructure at the locations drivers already frequent, and we are pleased to welcome the Fred Meyer food retail chain partnership for ECOtality and the EV Project in the Pacific Northwest," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality Inc. "The Blink Network of EV charging stations creates a new lifestyle for EV drivers. We are committed to continuing to sign partners that will allow consumers to charge in places they already frequent in their day-to-day lives -- where they live, work, shop and play." 

As part of the agreement, Fred Meyer will become a commercial launch partner for the EV Project and will install ECOtality's Blink Commercial Charging Station at stores in EV Project regions located in Oregon and Washington. Stores being considered in the Portland metro area include those located in Hollywood, Stadium, Walker Road, Gresham and Newberg. 

Stores under initial consideration in the Seattle and Central Puget Sound area include those in Everett, Alderwood, Bellevue, Lake City and Kent. Additionally, two new stores -- located in Wilsonville, Ore., and Maple Valley, Wash. -- will receive charging stations. Blink charging stations will also be installed on major transportation corridors between Seattle store locations and the United States border with Canada. 

"Our customers have been clear that they want to take advantage of the emerging electric car market," said Michael Ellis, president of Fred Meyer Stores. "We are thrilled to partner with ECOtality to be the first retail chain to offer this service to residents of the Northwest." 

ECOtality will begin installing Blink charging stations at Fred Meyer stores this summer. 

ECOtality, project manager of the EV Project, will oversee the installation of commercial and residential charging stations in 18 cities and major metropolitan areas throughout six states and the District of Columbia. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant of $114.8 million, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The EV Project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The grants are matched by private investment, bringing the total value of the project to approximately $230 million.