ECOtality, Inc., a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, has undertaken a project to deploy thousands of electric vehicles and charging systems in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the EV Project is the largest electric vehicle infrastructure project ever undertaken. The EV Project was awarded $99.8 million through the Transportation Electrification Program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in August, 2009 and an additional $15 million in 2010. ECOtality and its partners are matching the federal investment.
The EV Project plan is to launch Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt vehicles and more than 14,000 charging stations for the vehicles in 16 cities in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. There are over 40 partners in the EV Project, including ECOtality, the U.S. Department of Energy, Nissan, Chevrolet, BP, various other companies including utilities, state and local governments, and other organizations.
The EV Project plans to deploy 5,700 Nissan Leaf cars and 2,500 Chevrolet Volts. Drivers of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt who qualify to participate in the EV Project will receive a residential charger for free. Data on vehicle use in different types of conditions will be collected and analyzed in the project. Tests will be made of the effectiveness of the chargers, and how to generate revenue from public charging stations. According to the EV Project, the goal is to use the data to facilitate the deployment of the next 5 million electric vehicles.
ECOtality North America has a patented Minit-Charge technology that can charge an electric vehicle in about 15 minutes. The Minit-Line chargers are currently used for ground support equipment at airports, material handling equipment, buses, and light duty passenger vehicles. The EV Project plans to install 14,650 Level 2 chargers at 220V and 310 DC fast chargers.
The EV Project began in October, 2009 with the initial infrastructure beginning to be installed in the summer of 2010. The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt will be launched in the winter of 2010, and the target date for having the entire infrastructure deployed is the summer of 2011. The idea is for the EV project to have paved the way for the deployment of electric vehicles and charging stations throughout the entire U.S. by 2013.
Scott Doggett reported for Edmunds in October 2010 that the project to install 40 fast chargers and 920 other publically available Level 2 charging stations throughout the Phoenix, Arizona area was on target for completion by the end of 2011. Ryan Randazzo reported for the Arizona Republic that electric vehicle chargers would begin to appear in the downtown areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, and other neighboring cities within the next year. The EV Project studied population densities, travel patterns and income levels to develop maps of the best places to install charging stations to promote the use of electric cars. ECOtality will negotiate with businesses, shopping malls, and other public parking areas to determine the specific sites. Best Buy stores, BP gas stations and other businesses have agreed to install the free chargers in certain locations.
ECOtality North America
The EV Project
Ryan Randazzo, “Ecotality maps likely spots for car chargers” – Arizona Republic
Scott Doggett, “ECOtality Outlines Plan to Install 40 Fast EV Chargers, 920 Others in Phoenix Area” – Edmunds
VP100: EV Project gets Volts – Energy Empowers