Madison Gas & Electric in Wisconsin has invested in charging units for its electric vehicle fleet. (Photo: Carbon Day Automotive)
As part of a Recovery initiative to promote quick adoption of electric vehicles, more than 1,800 recharging units have been installed primarily in garages of people who have bought electric vehicles. Some units have also been installed in public parking lots and at curbside locations as well as at private businesses that have invested in commercial electric fleets.
The U.S. Department of Energy says the goal of the $400 million Initiative is to deploy more than 22,000 recharging units in residential, commercial, and public spaces by the end of 2011, creating an expansive network of recharging stations across the country. Prior to the Recovery Act, less than 500 recharging stations existed nationwide. While almost all recharging stations will be located in cities, Oregon is using $2 million of Recovery funds to build stations in rural areas of the state.
Electric vehicle charging stations at Balboa Park in San Diego, California. (Photo: ECOtotality)
DOE is working with two companies – Coulomb Technologies and ECOtotality – to offer free home installation of recharging units to electric vehicle owners who agree to provide the agency with information on how they use the vehicles. The offer is currently available only in Los Angeles; New York; Washington, D.C.; Orlando; Sacramento; Phoenix; Tucson; San Diego; Portland; Eugene; Bellevue/Redmond; Nashville; Memphis; Chattanooga; Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston; San Jose/San Francisco; Detroit; Grand Rapids; Lansing; Ann Arbor – the initial markets where General Motors, Ford, Nissan, and Smart Cars are rolling out their electric models. As the vehicles become available in other cities and areas, so will the offer, DOE says.
Electric car dealers will inform new buyers of the offer; anyone who bought a new electric car prior to the initiative can contact the dealer about a free recharger. (Both Coulomb and ECOtotality have more details on their websites, but dealers are the primary source of information.)
DOE says the data it receives from electric car owners “will be critical to informing the broader rollout of electric vehicles and chargers nationwide.”
Additionally, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is providing Google Inc. with consistent, up-to-date information on recharging stations so that they will appear on Google maps.
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