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Last month, Eaton and Murphy Oil USA teamed up to demonstrate the convenience of electric vehicle (EV) charging at gas stations. Now, ECOtality, BP and ARCO are joining in on the action as well. Under terms of this agreement, ECOtality will install 45 fast-charging stations – you know, the ones that take 30 minutes or less to fill a typical electric vehicle from empty to about 80 percent full – at BP and ARCO locations beginning next March. Exact sites for the chargers have yet to be determined, but some of them will show up in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and up and down the West Coast in cities that have been singled out under The EV Project. Of course, the addition of fast-charge stations in Tennessee will likely boost the Nissan Leaf's appeal in the area. Tennessee is, after all, an early rollout state for the Leaf.
ECOtality has chosen to enlist Blink to supply the fast-charge stations. Blink's latest addition to its lineup, the DC Fast Charger was also unveiled this week. It is outfitted with two CHAdeMO connectors, but you can't actually send power to two cars at once. You can plug two cars in at one time, but the unit's 50 kW draw on the grid would be doubled to 100 kW if both cars were fast-charged at once. Blink told AutoblogGreen that there aren't many places that can handle this sort of power spike, so the charger is designed to allow drivers to plug in their car and the system will make sure it charges as soon as possible while they're off doing other things.

The charge station also has smart meter capability, smartphone access and a monstrous 42-inch LCD display. That screen, which is designed to display information relevant to the charging process, can also function in other ways, thus "extending the consumer experience." Which is another way of saying that it makes an ideal surface for advertising. Hit the jump for more on ECOtality's recent agreement to install Blink fast-charge stations at select BP and ARCO locations. Hat tip to Dag!

[Source: ECOtality]

PRESS RELEASE

ECOtality to create a pilot network of Blink DC fast charging stations


Blink Network DC fast charging stations to be located at 45 BP and ARCO locations as part of The EV Project

SAN FRANCISCO – Wednesday, October 13, 2010 – ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, today announced that BP Products North America Inc., a partner in The EV Project, will install ECOtality's Blink electric vehicle (EV) DC Fast Chargers at 45 BP and ARCO locations. Blink DC Fast Chargers will be available to the public at BP and ARCO locations as early as March of 2011.

"When people think of refueling their cars, they think of gas stations, and we're excited to work with BP to demonstrate a new way of fueling cars to the American driver," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. "We designed our Blink DC fast chargers to meet the needs of both retailers and consumers and make electric vehicles a reality. As BP and ARCO locations are situated along major traffic routes we believe that DC fast charging is ideal for these types of locations."

"Individual ownership of electric cars is still a relatively new concept" said Kevin Phelan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with BP. "We understand the importance of finding future energy solutions and this pilot allows us to test EV charging technology, gather real-world data and learn about how motorists use and charge electric vehicles.

BP will test and evaluate the Blink DC Fast Chargers at 45 different BP and ARCO locations as part of BP's participation in The EV Project. Working with BP, ECOtality will determine the best location for DC Fast Charger stations utilizing the company's Micro-Climate™ process. Location considerations will be made based upon population density and transportation corridors in each project region. BP is expected to install DC Fast Chargers at select BP and ARCO locations in and around the major pilot markets of The EV Project which include Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), San Diego (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Portland (OR), Eugene (OR), Salem (OR), Corvallis (OR), Seattle (WA), Nashville (TN), Knoxville (TN) and Chattanooga (TN). DC Fast Chargers will be available at select BP locations beginning in March 2011.

"One of The EV Project's goals is to break the common misconceptions with EVs, and our fast chargers will solve two of the major EV myths," said Don Karner, President of ECOtality North America. "The project will make sure that there are readily available public chargers nationwide, and that drivers can charge their cars quickly and easily at locations convenient to them. By removing these barriers to adoption and creating rich charging infrastructure, we will drive consumer EV implementation."

ECOtality is the project manager for The EV Project, an initiative that will include the installation of approximately 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities and major metropolitan areas in six states, and will place 8,300 EVs on the road. The project is funded with a $114.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The grants are matched by private investment, bringing the total value of the project to approximately $230 million.

About BP Products North America, Inc.

BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through more than 11,000 BP and ARCO branded retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities.

BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corporation, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol. BP is a global producer, manufacturer and marketer of oil, gas, chemicals and renewable energy solutions.

About ECOtality, Inc.

ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, ECOtality accelerates the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels. For more information about ECOtality, Inc., please visit www.ecotality.com.

About The Blink DC Fast Charger

The Blink DC Fast Charger is the highest-power charging station currently on the market, and is capable of providing a full charge in less than 30 minutes. The dual port design ensures maximum availability for drivers seeking to obtain a quick charge while minimizing the total power that must be supplied by the host. The Blink design provides intelligent, user-friendly features to intuitively and safely charge electric vehicles, including easy payment options, interactive touch screen displays and web-based information delivery. A smartphone application is also integrated within the Blink Network and allows users to access charge station locations and GPS navigation, charge status and notifications of completed or interrupted charging.

The DC Fast Charger is outfitted with a 42" LCD display that provides an optional venue for media and advertising. In addition, the exterior treatments and graphics of the unit are completely customizable, allowing BP and other businesses to rebrand based on location. Blink Network media content will be customizable and broadcast across Blink Network charger locations nationwide.
Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain as they are based on current expectations and assumptions concerning future events or future performance of the company. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are only predictions and speak only as of the date hereof. In evaluating such statements, prospective investors should review carefully various risks and uncertainties identified in this release and matters set in the company's SEC filings. These risks and uncertainties could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.


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  • 26 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't find any of the level 3 chargers that have been installed at Cracker Barrels in TN that are online. I am planning on buying a Leaf and during a test drive last week I stopped at a local cracker barrel with a level 3 charger. One connector said it was out of order and the other said it would be online at noon. I went inside to eat lunch and when I left at about 12;15, the connector still said it wouldbe operational at noon. I downloaded their app and couldn't find any level 3 chargers that are operational. I live about 75 miles out of Nashville & would like to drive the Leaf to Nashville, but the ability to quick charge, if needed, along the way is part of the deal. Anyone else notice all the level 3 chargers being offline?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Could be that they need some volunteer places to locate the charge stations? BP and Arco were smart to step up and volunteer to have the charge stations located on their properties free of charge. There seems to be much red tape to locating chargers in rest area stops. So rather than fight the red tape BP and Arco will have to do. Additionally it is easier to set up these stations where there is already a large supply of power.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think it is a complete failure. 30 minutes is from 0-80%, so let's say you are already at 20-30%--your wait time is now only 20 minutes. And gas station always have the attendance there to overlook the "pumps", so the chance of the unit being vandalized is decreased.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I won't do business with BP
        • 4 Years Ago
        I used to buy 90% of my fuel from them... not anymore.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It makes no difference whether you buy from BP stations or not. You most likely are doing business with BP.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The BP stations aren't owned by BP themselves but are owned by local buisness people. Also lets not forget the Exxon Valdez oil spill and Shell is exploiting 3rd world countries as we speak!
        If you boycott BP you might as well boycott them all!
      • 4 Years Ago
      There are some reports these "pumps" only cost $25k

      http://nissan-leaf.net/2010/10/15/bp-to-offer-45-fast-charging-stations-will-make-no-profit/

      and that is the important news.. the reason for the two plugs in one charger is for that person in the first parking space that forgets and keeps hogging that space all day after the car is charged.

      I would like to see the option for a 30 minute fast charge, followed by a slow charge up to 100%.. many people spend more than 30 minutes at a Starbucks.

      At BP I would get a couple of corndogs and a diet slushie.. then chat with the bros and hos outside.. talking about the high cost of gas. You meet lots of interesting people that way.

      • 4 Years Ago
      It is the ideal place to demonstrate how g'damn long it takes to charge an EV, compared to an ICE. "Who'd ever want one of those?! And after all that, they only go 100 miles! Ha, what a scam!" BP & Arco customers will smugly drive off while you sit and breathe their fumes, happily missing the whole point of EVs. Mission accomplished.
        • 4 Years Ago
        edit: BP & Arco customers will smugly drive off, happily missing the whole point of EVs while you sit and breathe their fumes (charging your EV).

        BP sucks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's exactly what i was thinking.

        Arco station would be a good place to get laughed at while you eat a 49 cent corndog while you wait.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course, in reality you'll almost never charge up at the gas station . . . you'll just charge up every night at home and wake up to a full battery. Try doing that with your gas burner.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You know, down in my area, they keep building Whole Foods and Border's Books together in the same shopping centers. That seems like the most natural place in the world to find EV types who would love an excuse to hang around for 30 minutes and get their charge filled up while they shopped/browsed.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with this. Putting the charger at a gas station is crazy. What am I supposed to do there for 30 minutes? (Or up to an hour, if someone else is already plugged in!)

        That is, as mycomya points out, unless you want to highlight the one (big) downside of driving an EV (i.e. the issue of range/refuel time).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Doesn't seem like a good place to put quick chargers. The idea is to avoid gas stations entirely. And ARCO is not exactly the coolest place to spend 30 minutes at.

      IMHO these would be better at large businesses like supermarkets, malls and such. They already have tons of parking spots and large amounts of power plugged into the store. But gas stations usually don't have much in the way of extra parking. And you get to hang around a bunch of idling cars and gas fumes...

      Just sounds far from ideal. What do you guys think?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @worldcitizenUSA, "And what's with having two plugs but only one being usable at a time."
        You answered that question with your statement about Home Depot. Wandering around for an hour, while your EV sits there charged, taking up a space.
        • 4 Years Ago
        When I first read the article I thought it was a good idea but you have a point. Lousy place to hang.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If they pot them over where the air & water are, it's OK.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Goodcheer, chargers are for extending your distance on longer trips, not daily use. This is why it's a good idea to put them at a restaurant or other touristy type place that you aren't visiting very often. A supermarket would be good because they have tons of parking already. I am sure there are other places that would be ideal too.

        Nonetheless, i'd never leave my car at an ARCO for very long. Cheap gas stations like that attract seedy folk just like cheap motels attract seedy folk. And If you read autoblog you'll know there is some major angst against green cars. Plenty of people feel the same seething anger towards priuses as we do towards hummers. ( those prius owners think they're better than me! etc )

        I think it's a really bad idea. Maybe a last resort, but not a place you'd regularly want to go to charge, if need be.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GoodCheer: No, it's not necessary for long trips. But if you could count at a walmart, whole foods, kmart, safeway, rite aid, whatever.. at least you could get some shopping done or have something to eat while you charge.

        Have you been inside an ARCO? buncha junk food, energy drinks, alcohol. Nowhere to sit. I guess you could sit in your car but.. at a gas station, you are missing a sales / brand loyalty opportunity that you would normally get at a supermarket, restaurant, etc.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry for flogging a dead horse on this one, but (again, in my opinion) it doesn't really matter where you like to spend time:

        I can lose a hour at a Home Depot as easily as the next person, but I have 2 Home Depots and a Lowes within 10 miles of my house. There are also three grocery stores, 2 movie theaters, a wholesale club, many schools etc etc. within 10 miles of my house. And I don't even live in a big city!

        By the time I get to any of them, I'll still be a 80% SoC (or something), so I won't NEED to charge. If I can avoid charging at these very expensive -capital infrastructure intensive- charging locations, I will, because I know I'll be able to get home and recharge at far lower cost in my driveway.

        I don't charge just because I'm parked somewhere... that doesn't really benefit me. I charge EITHER when it's low cost to me (at home), OR when I really need to charge to get to the next place. The later will only really happen when I'm pushing or exceeding my total vehicle range, which will only happen when I'm on the highway. Have you ever tried to drive 100 miles in one day without getting on a highway? I sure haven't.

        I'm betting that public chargers in city centers will get very little use, unless that use is free or nearly free to the vehicle owners. Anyway... we'll all know for sure in 5 years.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @Middle Way, I completely agree that Level iii chargers should be installed in places where you are likely to want to spend (or usually do anyway) a half hour or more. Like movie theaters, malls, the doctor's office, Home Depot (man, I get to wandering around that place and an hour zips by like nothing flat).

        You've got the right idea.

        And what's with having two plugs but only one being usable at a time. Could that be some underhanded way to show people, "See! All this EV fast charging aint so great after all" by artificially reducing the convenience of the charging experience. Perhaps on those giant monitors they'll be playing the old "Oil companies are your friends" PR spin in some kind of hideous loop of lies and insanity...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just getting them installed somewhere is progress.

        Of course this will be bad for my health since I'll end sucking down some of those cheap hot dogs and giant drink.


        Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm with you on hanging at a traditional gas station. But I was hoping they were talking about more of these new "super stations" or whatever the terminology is on the interstate where they have 5 different fast food places plus gas plus convenience store, etc.

        I actually drive that route between Chattnooga and Knoxville on I-75 once a month or so and it would be very easy to put one at that Cracker Barrel at the Sweetwater exit. It's the half way point and you can eat and browse the "country store" while you wait. Hey, we're rednecks and we like our country breakfast and attached country store LOL

        The interesting thing will be seeing who wins in the short term as VW is moving into Chattanooga and Nissan and the Leaf are in Smyrna (Nashville). It's the VW diesels vs. the Nissan EVs!

        Back on subject, it also seems like Walmart, Targets, etc would do well to have chargers especially around cities where people might have EVs but no natural parking place to charge at night.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm of the opinion that for general around town errands, including going to the mall, the grocery store, or to the movies, additional recharging will not be necessary. The only place where fast chargers make sense (in my opinion) is at highway service travel plazas or near off-ramps.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BP is an initial supporter of EVProject. They are also probably kicking in some money.

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