I had my first bonafide, on-the-road plug-in hybrid sighting over the weekend, while driving back to New Jersey from New Hampshire, a Chevrolet Volt, which zoomed me by somewhere near Katonah.
I was vaguely on the lookout for electric vehicles after noticing that June has been a banner month for electric vehicle charging technology deployments, at least for one of the more visible contenders, ECOtality. What is particularly interesting about those deployments is that many are commercially supported. That is, they are sited on private rather than public property. Here are just a few of the ECOtality installations that have gone live so far this month:
- In Tennessee, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel is the first commercial partner in the city of Nashville to install a Blink Electric Vehicle Pedestal Charger. The state is one of the original pilot regions for The Electric Vehicle Project (EV Project). More than 500 miles of highway are being electrified, and the first 1,000 Nissan Leafs purchased in the state are eligible for a state-sponsored rebate of $1,000. The pedestal is a Level 2 charger (240 volts). ECOtality intends to install about 2,500 chargers in the state by the end of 2011, in various public, residential and commercial settings.
- 10 stations are being installed in Balboa Park, in San Diego. The stations are located outside two public attractions: the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
- Seattle boasts two major (major being a relative term) installations: Vulcan Real Estate has installed 24 Blink Pedestals in eight commercial and residential buildings in the South Lake Union area of the city. (Vulcan is a company owned by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.) Electric vehicle owners can also charge up at Qwest Field Stadium, where a total of six ECOtality units are being installed.
- In another interesting commercial deal, ECOtality is working with Sears (Sears!) to install 30 chargers at store locations that are with markets that are part of the EV Project. Those chargers are scheduled to be installed by the end of the summer.