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.