Zurich, Switzerland, January 10, 2011 — ABB invested $10 million in San Francisco-based ECOtality to enter North America’s electric vehicle charging market and provide ECOtality with a global ally in power delivery systems.
ECOtality will use the investment to foster its expansion and finance initial requirements of the EV Project, a program to develop electric vehicle infrastructures in 16 major U.S. cities funded by a $115 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The project involves installation of more than 15,000 chargers to support the deployment of 8,300 electric vehicles.
In addition, the companies have signed an agreement establishing ABB as the preferred supplier for ECOtality’s power electronics and component parts in North America.
The companies will work together to develop charging technologies for electric vehicles that incorporate the advanced consumer interface and billing functionalities of ECOtality’s Blink EV charging stations. Through its smart grids industry segment initiative, ABB will contribute its expertise from several projects in Europe involving integration of EV charging solutions.
ECOtality has a range of systems for charging electric vehicles parked at the home or office, or during short stops to “top off” while on longer journeys.
ECOtality expects to have the largest installed base of charging stations in the U.S. in two years through the DOE-funded EV Project, and plans to work with utilities and municipalities to create plug-in ready regions through its proprietary EV Micro-Climate process. The company currently employs about 100 people.