We've written a number of times about the race to build out charging infrastructure for electric cars. There have been significant developments in Iceland, Norway, Israel, Japan, and elsewhere. Here in the U.S., one of the leading companies, um, "taking charge," is Arizona-based ECOtality.
Through ECOtality's EV Project, the company is working to build out home-base, commercial and public electric car chargers, starting in major markets in five states: Arizona (Phoenix & Tucson metropolitan areas), Washington (Seattle area), Oregon (Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene), California (San Diego) and Tennessee. The EV Project was created in August 2009, and was awarded a federal stimulus grant of nearly $100 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). That grant is being matched by partners, which include the Nissan LEAF electric car (which just got an estimated sale price, after tax breaks, of roughly $25,000).
With permission from LEAF owners, the EV Project will collect and analyze user data to better improve its EV charging infrastructure. ECOtality hopes that the lessons learned will facilitate better deployment of electric vehicles in the domestic and global markets.
If you live in one of the test regions, you may consider inquiring with ECOtality, or stop by your local Nissan dealer. If not, rest assured, you still may have more electric car charging options in the near future. It's a fast-growing industry, and an exciting time.
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