BP Stations To Get Electric Car Chargers

Will its name still be mud with environmentalists? Probably. But BP, the company infamous for befouling the Gulf of Mexico, nevertheless will equip 45 of its BP and ARCO stations with ECOtality’s Blink electric vehicle DC Fast Chargers by March 2011.

BP is a participant in ECOtality’s EV Project, a public-private initiative to get 15,000 charging stations installed in six states. ECOtality said chargers were expected to go in at BP and ARCO stations in and around Phoenix; Tucson; San Diego; Los Angeles; Seattle; Portland, Corvallis, Eugene and Salem, Ore.; and Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tenn.

image via ECOtality

The idea of piggybacking charging stations onto gas stations seems to be gaining currency; earlier this month, Eaton said it would install DC Quick Chargers at Murphy USA gas stations, in “an environment that consumers are very comfortable with.” As with that program, the ECOtality/BP project is characterized as a test.

“We understand the importance of finding future energy solutions and this pilot allows us to test EV charging technology, gather real-world data and learn about how motorists use and charge electric vehicles,” Kevin Phelan, vice president of sales and marketing for BP, said in a statement.

The Blink line of chargers – one for home use, another for commercial installations – are Level 2 devices that Ecotality says will communicate over networks with consumers, utilities and points of installation for things like remote control through smartphone applications and tie-ins to smart grids for power management by utilities during high peak demand situations will be possible.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.