ECOtality is celebrating a variety of expansion programs as part of The EV Project, a $230 million plan to create an infrastructure for electric vehicles in select American states. As we’ve noted before, roughly half of the project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the Recovery Act.
To start the expansion news, Sears is joining other retailers to become a charging station partner along with Macy’s, BP, Best Buy and other chain outlets. Ten different Sears stores, which are currently being selected, will install three Level 2 units at each location. The project hopes to have all thirty stations installed by the end of the summer this year.
Next up, a 100+ year-old steakhouse in Tempe, Arizona has a new charging station under The EV Project. Monti’s La Casa Vieja is now offering a public hook-up for green car drivers, part of a larger plan in Arizona that includes 920 public units in the Phoenix area, and another 230 in Tucson, all of which are expected to be installed before 2012.
Finally, the city of Wilsonville, Oregon recently installed a public charging station at the town’s City Hall. The unit is part of a link of electric vehicle chargers along I-5, and one of 1,100 stations the company plans to install across the state over the next six months. Oregon’s I-5, as we’ve noted, is rapidly becoming the so-called “Green Highway,” which is also being supported by ECOtality’s competitor Aerovironment.
While these efforts are commendable, the project has quite a few units left to install in order to meet the promised 14,000 stations by the end of the year. We recently reported that the 1,000th unit was deployed in May, and at the time of this article, ECOtality says 1,200 have been installed, perhaps signaling an increase in roll out.
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