EV Project status update

by Ernie Hernandez on May 22, 2011

The EV Project
Where do they stand?

We have an outstanding inquiry into the EV Project, but apparently do not carry the requisite clout to engender a response. Based on recent press releases, this is what we have been able to ascertain of the situation.

In August of 2009 Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, announced a $100 million United States Department of Energy (DOE) grant for the deployment of 12,500 electric vehicle (EV) level 2 charging systems and 250 DC fast charge systems. Fast forward one year and nine months. ECOtality announces the installation of 1,000 residential charge stations. No DC fast charge stations have yet been installed, and we are unsure if any public or commercial charge stations have been installed, as ECOtality has not answered our query. They do offer in their press release that 14,000 charge stations are due to be installed by year end. This would require a mammoth ramp-up in contractors on their part to complete such an ambitious schedule.

On May 18, two days after the announcement of the 1,000 residential installations, ECOtality announced a partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate management firm, to identify more than 2,000 commercial charging station host locations. One of our questions is this: what have they been doing for the past one and a half years?

Let’s see… there’s this – in October 2010 ECOtality announced their Blink DC Fast Charger. Somehow the installation of 250 DC Fast Chargers announced the year before had become 155 by October 2010. Also in October of last year, ECOtality announced a plan to install a dozen charge stations at Best Buy locations primarily on the west coast by March 2011. We haven’t seen any announcements by ECOtality or Best Buy that any of these have taken place yet.

All of which leads us to wonder about ECOtality’s latest announcement – the installation at 6 San Diego area Macy’s department stores of 12 charge stations. These are to be completed by summer 2011.

We want the EV Project to succeed. We really do. But at some point, someone holding the purse strings has to wonder about the progress (or lack thereof) that we have seen to date.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron Solberg May 23, 2011 at 6:13 am

Governments, corporations and individual efforts at building infrastructure ALL should be considered. So far our efforts have not been recognized or taken seriously. Here is what we have done this far:
http://carstations.com/1247

Ron Solberg

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indyflick May 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

I found this on Voice of San Diego.
http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/letters/article_fac64786-6f79-11e0-9583-001cc4c002e0.html
Maybe a little more information but doesn’t really address the issue.

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) May 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Thanks indy. Not a lot there, but at least tells us that they have actually started installations. Prior to this, it was not published anywhere that I had seen. Interesting that the press release happy machine would not announce start of public infrastructure installations.

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indyflick May 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I believe the EV Project is a failure. The DoE should have made it competitive for each and every install in every market. Make it a land grab! Instead we all thought ECOtality was actually going to do something. The competitors stayed away and then ECOtality did nothing. So instead of a built out EV charging infrastructure right now (original plan) we have nothing. Zero, zip, nadda. It’s a damn shame and Congress should drag ECOtality in for hearings on this.

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