A Hawaiian start up in the electric vehicle charging space is taking a rather novel approach to providing free charging time for consumer drivers of vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S – selling ads on the chargers. Volta Industries is this company, and with what’s said to be a successful debut in its home state, is now looking to push to the US mainland.
Volta, which has a number of electric vehicle chargers installed around Hawaii [PDF], reportedly has provided the equivalent of over 300,000 miles of free electric recharges. This equates to over 11,100 gallons of gas. The company, founded in 2010, has apparently made quite the name for itself on its home turf, getting its share of funding from local investors to the tune of $200,000 and also being honored as one of the most innovative companies in 2012.
The model Volta uses for its electric car chargers, which are powered by Eaton, is pretty simple. It puts the charging equipment in strategic places, such as shopping malls, and sells advertising on both sides of the stations. An article from Pacific Business News indicated costs per charger can range up to $40,000 to install, and ad rates typically range around $1,800 per month per ad.
Ambitious goals follow the company as it now comes to Western states to see if it can replicate its model in Oahu. Plans call for, by the end of next year, to have a presence in up to 10 cities on the West Coast, with more than 1000 EV charging stations. Volta officials have been trekking so far around Arizona and California, reportedly drawing much interest in their model. At this point more than a dozen EV charging stations are scheduled to debut across Arizona, with locations in Phoenix and Tucson.
Volta, working with what looks to be the base charging equipment from Eaton, spruces them up to be more visually appealing to both drivers and would be advertisers. The vTower, as they are called, provide approximately 15 to 20 miles worth of range per hour of charging and are maintained by the company.