SAN FRANCISCO -- ECOtality Inc., which specializes in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, said it has completed the installation of the first 1,000 Blink electric vehicle (EV) Level 2 residential charging stations for the EV Project.
Blink residential chargers have been installed in every major EV Project market to support the rollout of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.
“ECOtality has worked closely with EV Project partners to ensure that we deliver charging stations to meet market demand for EVs well in advance of vehicle delivery,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “We have focused initially on residential installations to ensure first adopters have the best possible user experience as the majority of charging most likely will take place at home during off-peak hours. Now that EVs have begun to make good penetration in the project markets, we have ramped up public and commercial installations to build out the Blink Network so EV users can extend range and have confidence that they will have a place to plug in.”
Installations of the Blink residential charging stations began in early 2011, coinciding with the delivery of vehicles to EV Project participants. ECOtality also has begun initial installations of publicly accessible charging stations. These commercial and public installations will increase significantly in the next few weeks as the EV Project seeks to install approximately 14,000 chargers by the end of 2011.
Recently, the company added Macy’s department stores to its list of commercial partners, which includes BP/Arco, Best Buy, Cracker Barrel and Fred Meyer. ECOtality also unveiled the Blink mobile application for smartphones and mobile devices that will enable users to find and reserve Blink chargers, utilize GPS navigation, and receive charge status notifications. The Blink mobile application is scheduled for release and available for download this summer.
“We’ve taken a pragmatic approach to EV charger deployment and worked closely with project stakeholders to develop charging stations that meet the needs of EV drivers and utilities,” said Don Karner, president of ECOtality North America.
EV drivers will be able to charge at any Blink station through a variety of methods, including interoperable RFID cards or fobs, smartphone applications, and mobile phone and credit card-based payment options. Blink Network members will have access to discounted charging rates, reservation systems and enhanced Blink Network capabilities, the company said.
ECOtality is project manager of the EV Project and will oversee the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. 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 grants are matched by private investment, bringing the total value of the project to approximately $230 million.
For more information about the EV Project, visit www.theevproject.com.