Oregon Opts for AeroVironment While Texas Taps ECOtality for EV Chargers

August 21, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has selected AeroVironment to supply, install, operate and maintain twenty-two electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations along major transportation corridors and travel destinations in northwest Oregon. Site review and selection is commencing and construction is scheduled to be complete by December 2012. Funding for the project came from a $2 million U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant.

"This project will help remove a major barrier to rapid adoption of electric vehicles by providing a network of fast charging stations around northwest Oregon," said Phillip Ditzler, Federal Highway Administration, Oregon Division Administrator. "Oregon will serve as a model for the rest of the country in its innovative approach to electrifying transportation."

AeroVironment will install the fast charging stations at existing, convenient commercial host locations in 22 targeted communities identified by ODOT, allowing EV drivers to recharge in as little as 15 to 20 minutes. This project expands the "Green Highway" initiative, a multi-state effort to provide EV charging infrastructure up and down the West Coast.

"Oregon is demonstrating tremendous leadership in advancing the ’Green Highway,’" said Mike Bissonette, Senior Vice President of Efficient Energy Systems for AeroVironment. "Electrifying the main transportation corridors in Oregon is not just a vision about a cleaner future, it’s about American jobs and building the economy today. We’re working with Oregon to turn that vision into reality."

In addition to 480V fast charging stations, AeroVironment went beyond the requirements of the TIGER II grant and agreed to also provide 240V Level II charging stations at each of the 22 locations at no additional cost to the state. More than 2,500 AeroVironment Level II charging stations have been installed in 25 U.S. states since late 2010.

While AeroVironment expands its public EV charging network in Oregon, the company will simultaneously be installing fast charging equipment in Washington State through a similar project managed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). According to the company, when completed, the Pacific Northwest will have the most robust "Green Highway" corridor in the nation.

ECOtality, Inc. unveiled the Blink® commercial charging network in the Dallas metro area. As part of The EV Project, the largest rollout of EVs and EV charging infrastructure in history, ECOtality has plans to install over 200 charging stations in the Dallas metro area over the coming months.

"Throughout Texas and across the United States, consumer demand for electric vehicles is growing at an unprecedented rate," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality, Inc. "We’ve expanded our network of smart public charging stations in Dallas to meet the needs of the next generation of EV drivers--allowing them to charge up when they shop or dine in one of Dallas’ premier entertainment districts. By bringing Blink to Dallas, ECOtality is providing EV drivers with new choices for how to commercially charge their electric vehicle."

ECOtality began installing publicly available charging stations in the Dallas area in May, and to date has installed 17 chargers throughout the greater Dallas metro area. As project manager of The EV Project, ECOtality is overseeing the installation of approximately 14,000 charging stations in 18 markets--including Dallas and Houston – in six states and Washington, D.C.

"Plug-In Texas commends ECOtality, an important member of our coalition, for further advancing the public charging infrastructure in North Texas with The EV Project," said Russ Keene, President of Plug-In Texas. "Electric vehicles are a positive progression for the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex – these exciting, clean vehicles will make vehicle ownership more affordable and make a significant contribution to emission reductions, transforming transportation for Texas."

ECOtality began installations of its Blink Pedestal charging stations earlier this year. A variety of factors were taken into consideration as ECOtality selected the locations for public charging stations, including the locations of major city attractions, retail and shopping hubs, employment centers and traffic patterns.

ECOtality is the project manager of The EV Project and will oversee the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The project is a public-private partnership, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant and made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

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