• Dec 20, 2011
At this early point in the plug-in car era, there are bound to be some logistical imbalances. For example, there are currently only 270 electric vehicles registered in the state of Tennessee. Compare this to about 500 public electric vehicle chargers already installed there. That makes sense, yeah?

The local news outlet The Tennessean is asking questions about the situation, wondering "whether public money used to boost alternative fuel vehicles has been money well spent, at least so far." In a move similar to what will happen along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, where a Florida-based company got state money to install charging stations over the next year-and-a-half, many of the stations in Tennessee were put in by California company Ecotality as part of the EV Project (but the money came from the Federal government). Ecotality installs Blink charging stations, pictured.

While we agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense to have twice as many public charging stations as there are cars that can use them, the numbers will change and balance themselves out in time. For now, it's easier to build charging stations than it is to build the cars, and the situation in Tennessee reflects that. It also leaves most of the stations unused most of the time, especially since most people charge up overnight at home.

Undeterred, Ecotality told The Tennessean it will continue to install charging stations in Tennessee. In somewhat related news, Ecotality just announced a plan to install charging stations at 14 Kohl's locations nationwide, including in Tennessee. Details of that expansion plan are available after the jump.
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ECOtality to Install Blink Pedestal Chargers at Select Kohl's Department Stores

Blink® Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to Be Installed at 14 Kohl's Locations Across Five States

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, announced today a partnership with Kohl's Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) to install Blink® Pedestal electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at 14 Kohl's locations nationwide. As the newest EV Project partner, Kohl's will work together with ECOtality to identify sites for the charging stations in EV Project markets in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee.

"Kohl's Department Stores is one of the retail industry's biggest sustainability advocates. Kohl's corporate commitment to green building practices and renewable energy integration aligns perfectly with ECOtality's mission to establish a rich EV charging infrastructure that encourages EV adoption," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality, Inc. "We are excited to partner with Kohl's to take its sustainability efforts one step further-and bring our Blink charging stations to destinations that EV drivers frequent."

ECOtality is in the process of installing a total of 42 Blink Pedestal charging stations across 14 Kohl's locations across five key EV Project markets. Each Kohl's store will have a minimum of two reserved parking spots for EVs, and several sites have up to four charging stations.

"Kohl's pilot of electric vehicle charging stations demonstrates our commitment to advancing environmental solutions in a meaningful and tangible way for our customers," said John Worthington, Kohl's chief administrative officer. "Not only are these stations an added shopper convenience, they also encourage environmental responsibility among our shoppers. We will continue to explore additional locations to pilot charging stations at our stores nationwide."

The Blink Network of charging stations provides EV drivers the freedom to travel as they choose and conveniently charge at Blink commercial locations along the way. By becoming Blink Members, consumers may also yield even greater advantages of the Blink Network, such as local incentive programs, reservation systems, and enhanced Blink Network capabilities.

ECOtality is the project manager of The EV Project and will oversee the installation of 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 EVs in these key markets. 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). For more information about The EV Project, please visit www.theevproject.com.

The new EV charging stations support Kohl's commitment to being a leading environmentally responsible retailer through strategies including waste reduction and recycling, environmentally responsible building design and operation, use and support of renewable energy, energy efficiency initiatives and stakeholder engagement. To date, the company has more than 110 solar locations in nine states and ranks first in retail and second overall on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of top green power purchasers. In spring 2011, Kohl's also launched its first two wind locations at its Findlay, Ohio distribution center and Corpus Christi, Texas store. The company has more than 650 ENERGY STAR-labeled stores nationwide. In recognition of these efforts, Kohl's was named a 2011 Green Power Partner of the Year and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year.

Additional information about Kohl's environmental efforts is available at www.KohlsGreenScene.com. Kohl's comprehensive environmental program, Advancing Environmental Solutions, is part of the Kohl's Cares® philanthropic platform, committed to making communities happier, healthier, greener places to live and work. Additional information about Kohl's Cares is available at www.Kohls.com/Cares.

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 Kohl's Department Stores

Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl's (NYSE: KSS - News) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. With a commitment to environmental leadership, Kohl's operates 1,127 stores in 49 states. In support of the communities it serves, Kohl's has raised more than $180 million for children's initiatives nationwide through its Kohl's Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit www.Kohls.com.

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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      For public charging I think the money should be spent on L3 (fast DC charging). This is what would allow EV drivers to go anywhere "worry free". Normal L2 charging (the type shown in the picture) takes hours connected to the EVSE to get filled up. That's not what people would do when driving around without a plan in mind. On the other hand, knowing that there is a place nearby where one could fill up in 15-20min would make a huge difference because it would be okay to go there without anything else to do but wait. It's not the case for L2. L2 charging would work better at the workplace. Helping employers to install EVSE for employees who drive EVs to work is a low hanging fruit. Commuting is the perfect EV usage scenario: known distance, stay hours at destination where charging is available. Charging in public places is I think a secondary scenario. Things like availablity need to be worked out before I would rely on those for a trip. Today I don't go anywhere unless I can make the round trip on a full charge because public EVSE are not reliable and there is too few backup solutions.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not related to the story directly (Hi PR! :) ) but I was visiting my Alma Mater yesterday, THEE University of Central Florida, and saw that they had a solar powered charging station - four bays, and, a very nice awning over it, where the awning was, of course, the solar array. If this site had a photo upload, I would send pictures. Most cool - unfortunately I do not know enough about the chargers to tell you what type, or (eek!) the connection, but was happy to see this.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        The charging station at UCF has been open since February of 2010. It is a grid-tied system, meaning that while there are solar panels on site, you're more likely getting a large percentage of your charge from the grid. The station is free for the first 10kWh, and after that there is a fee. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Nko2Bnm3Gas/S_CAqhP4R_I/AAAAAAAAAKQ/vHslLCp-w74/s1600/UCFChargingStation-Front.jpg The case study: http://www.palmer-electric.com/services/pdf/UCFCaseStudy-4-28-10-Final.pdf
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Darn it. But, thanks for the info...
        Dave R
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        You could upload the picture somewhere (say imageshack) and the post a link.
      briang19
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't ever use public charging stations for my EV because at $2/hr. it's way, way, way too expensive to charge there. Comes out to 5x as expensive as charging at home, and 4x as much as gas.
        jeffwishart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @briang19
        Just curious, where are you getting charged $2/hr? At $2/hr, this is equivalent to $20.42/gallon (for a 3.3 kW on-board charger), which is indeed much more expensive, 6.4 times as expensive in terms of energy content ($3.213 today, according to http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/?redirectto=http://fuelgaugereport.opisnet.com/index.asp). But if you consider that the LEAF gets 99 mpgge and the average vehicle gets 24.5 mpg, then that 3.3 kWh charge you have after an hour (equivalent to 0.98 gallons) gets you 9.7 miles while the average vehicle gets 2.4 miles, roughly four times further. So when the cost per mile is calculated, you would get $0.21 for the LEAF and $0.13 for the average vehicle. So the LEAF would be more expensive in this case, but not four times more. Incidentally, the forthcoming Blink charging rates for AC L2 have been released (https://www.blinknetwork.com/membership.html), and they are as low as $1/hr, which would make it $0.11 per mile, cheaper than the average vehicle. Commercial charging is never going to be as cheap as residential charging (unless the business sees it as a way of drawing in customers and subsidizes the charging), but it's not necessarily more expensive than gasoline.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jeffwishart
          Well, you'll gladly pay that "$20/gallon" if you need the power. But you'll never actually pay much since a Leaf only has a "tank" that stores "3/4 gallon". It is more like you'll find yourself in a tough situation where you miscalculated and you'll just charge up for a few hours, pay $4 to $6 so that you have enough charge to get home.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jeffwishart
          $20 a gallon Holy EFF!
          Ernie Dunbar
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jeffwishart
          "Average vehicle" should be replaced with "Average car" because the average vehicle MPG is much lower due to very low values for "light trucks" and their high numbers. Even then, a crude estimate is probably only around 31 MPG anyway.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @briang19
        Where do you live and who's charging stations charge $2/hour?
          otiswild
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          ChargePoint (Coulomb) stations in Austin Texas for example. Me, I have an unlimited-use pass for them thru Austin Energy, $25/6mo . But I wouldn't pay more than $100/yr for same, as even L2 charging is worth no more than 50 cents an hour compared to charging at home at full retail price.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Oh I fully agree that they are not worth $2/hour except if it is a very valuable parking spot and that is what you are really paying for. I think away from home charging will not be really relevant at all except as a security blanket to make people feel more secure with their EVs. You'll do the vast majority of charging at home but occasionally, having a public charger may save you on a day when you drove more than you thought you would, you forgot to charge overnight, or you are making a planned long trip.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think things will change when Leafs start rolling off the assembly line in Smyrna.
      electronx16
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not completely unexpected. Earlier studies by Nissan and Toyota already indicated that the need for infrastructure is mostly psychological than physical: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/10/05/05climatewire-european-automakers-say-psychological-barrier-2265.html?pagewanted=all Apparently: "A charging infrastructure will be an important part of people feeling safe to buy an electric vehicle. But it is a psychological rather than a physical barrier," said Nissan U.K. spokeswoman Gabi Whitfield. "In Japan, there is a widespread charging infrastructure, but nobody uses it. They charge at home." Still, I reckon that's mostly level 2 charging they are referring to since that has limited practical use. One would expect level 3 charging to become popular eventually, but as long as few EV's are on the roads and there is no comprehensive level 3 charging network even those will see little use for the time being.
        BipDBo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @electronx16
        "...the need for infrastructure is mostly psychological than physical:" "In Japan, there is a widespread charging infrastructure, but nobody uses it. They charge at home." These are points well made. With that being said, rather than charging stations keeping coveted city parking spaces vacant, I'd much rather see fast chargers being installed along interstates between cities. They should be placed at around 30 miles from each major city, and then placed around 70 miles apart on the interstate. You could know that a Leaf or a Focus EV, for example, could get to the city and back. A good application for this would be in Florida, between Orlando, Miami and Tampa/St. Pete. It's no high speed rail, but it would be a whole lot less expensive.
          BipDBo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          I would add that within or at the perimeters of cities, a good place to put charging stations would be at public transportation hubs.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          The leaf has already been tested to do 70 miles... with highway speeds, AC on with 95 deg F outside. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf#Range Now, if you average 85 mph on the highway like so many Americans... then NO, you won't get 70 miles. But that is not the cars fault. By far, the BIGGEST waster of energy in every automobile is the impatience of the driver!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          I would do a little less than 70 miles. The Leaf typically gets that mileage on a good day. Imagine if it's sweltering and you're pumping the air conditioning? 50 miles may be a safer bet. Still, good point.
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          The problem with your proposal is that current EVs generally can't do 70 miles at freeway speeds. EVs are great commuter cars, and people (and government) should focus on that. Trying to make EVs appeal to 100% of the population is a waste of money and unneccesary. EVs provide greatest benefits when applied to urban areas. DC fast charge cost 5 ro 10 times as much as the standard Level 2 chargers. I would rather the money be spent to put in more convienience chargers than a few fast chargers that a lot less people will use.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here is some Volkswagen Servicing information http://www.servicingstop.co.uk/vw_service.html
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a new kind of pollution. The pollution is that these chargers takes valuable parking spots that need to be left empty all the time in case some hypothetical battery car need it.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        yea, but even if we decided, 'yep, Gorr was right...hydrogen it is' we would either have not enough filling stations at the beginning, or filling stations sitting empty. With no cocaine either! (see PR below). :)
      Syzygy Global
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just start bringing more chargers to my area, it will definitely bring more people confidence to buy electric
      • 3 Years Ago
      Give it time, there will be more and more electric vehicles in the near future, those chargers won't go unused. I believe the next five years will change the way we drive and the vehicles we use. I'm sure back when the first horse-less carriage was introduced, people thought they would never catch on.......so much for their intelligence.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Actually it's worse than it appears. Not only are there 500 charge stations and 270 cars, but NONE of the 270 cars needs public charging AT ALL. A total waste of gubbermint money. Jack Rickard http://www.EVTV.me
        JP
        • 3 Years Ago
        People do use public charging, and one of the big criticisms against EV's is "no place to charge". That argument falls apart with projects such as this. Nothing wrong with getting them in place a bit early in preparation for the large fleet of EV's that will be on the roads in coming years. Public charging extends the effective range of EV's without hauling around a large and expensive pack.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sort of a non-story. News flash December 2013: 'electric motorists dismayed by lack of charging stations and long waits to power up. Divorce rates soar!' I am sure that when people started buying the Model T enmasse, there were people who ended up in empty area, no gas, and no gas stations. News flash from December 1915: 'Model T drivers run out of gas. Also complain that there is no Starbucks, nor place to get a big gulp. Divorce rates soar.'
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        In the early days of gas cars when the Model T first hit the market, you bought your gas at a pharmacy. It was on the shelf between the Cocaine, the Alcohol, the Morphine, and the Mary Jane. One-stop shopping! If there weren't enough charging stations, the same folks would be bitching about how the gov't was wasting money subsidizing EV cars, when there wasn't even a charging infrastructure for EV's to ever work. Think I'm wrong? Go watch the Top Gear hatchet piece on EV's where they go through a small town looking for a place to charge, and then declare that EV's are worthless because there weren't enough charging stations. That is exactly what they did. If there had been 2 charging stations in the town, Top Gear would have done a skit where they complained that they were the only 2 cars who used the charging station the whole time they were there. The whining and the complaining from the anti-EV crowds will continue unabated regardless of logic, reason, or reality.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          PR's comment may be humorous, but he is incorrect on several points. The Model T was not part of the automobile's vanguard. The auto had been around for nearly 20 years at that point (nearly 300,000 were on the roads in the US by 1908); indeed, it wasn't even Ford's first car, Ford had been in the car-making business since 1899 (the T came out more than 10 years after he built his first car in 1896) - his first company, incidentally, became more famous as Cadillac! The story about buying auto fuel at a pharmacy is probably based on the account of Mrs. Daimler buying benzene at a pharmacy in the 1888... Purpose-built filling stations have been around since 1905. Granted, they weren't equipped with modern pumps, but by 1911 Standard Oil was already being busted as a monopoly... You were much more likely to buy your gasoline at a hardware store, than a pharmacy, at any rate.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          @PR Yea - that is why I looked at this like a non-story. I suppose it is mildly interesting, but, if I had an electric/plug in, I would MUCH rather have a few to many charging stations opposed to not enough. And as Spec rightly points out - as soon as the Leaf plant gets rolling, we will probably hear those angry stories about not enough charging stations. Hmmmmm - Let's remember this post, so we can say, "You heard it here first from PR and EZEE" when those stories appear! :D And, don't think you are wrong at all - I had not thought of the subsidize story, so when that one comes out, we can say, "You heard it here first from PR." And yes - Coca Cola was truly 'The Real Thing' a long time ago....
      Yespage
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's called long-term planning. I realize that a media company gains nothing by printing a report that explains why this isn't a bad thing, but it'd be nice to live in a nation where thinking the long-term was rewarded, not punished and criticized.
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