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As expected, Ecotality is bowing out. The electric vehicle charging station maker just filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to auction off its assets next month. Ecotality and five affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday at the US bankruptcy court in Phoenix, AZ. The charging station company said eight parties would like to bid on its assets, and that it would like to hold an auction on October 9. Closing of the auction is expected to happen within two days.

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Supercenter retailer Meijer Inc. plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at many of its Michigan area stores. The first charging station, installed at the Warren, MI Meijer store, is now operational, and perhaps coincidentally, is located across the street from GM's technical center, a site that has more than its fair share of Chevy Volts roaming around. The retailer's Allen Park store, also located on the state's east side, is slated for the next install. Then, plans shift to the we

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Imagine how convenient it would be if you could simply fill up your future electric vehicle (EV) at the gas station down the road, across town, or perhaps even the one that's located right off the exit ramp of your local expressway. Now, that's convenient charging that could push EVs to mass adoption, right? Well, that's the plan of Eaton Corporation and Murphy Oil USA. The duo have teamed up to demonstrate the benefits of fast, convenient charging located within the familiar environment of trad

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Electric vehicles (EVs) may be dramatically less mechanically complex than their traditional internal combustion counterparts, but that's where the simplicity ends. The battle that began with Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla over direct vs. alternating current continues to this day, the battlefield has just shifted to the EV powertrain. Electrochemical batteries can't store alternating current, the electrons will only flow directly in or out.

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Earlier this week, automotive execs came together to discuss the future of the industry at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI. As Green Car Advisor reports, one of the sessions at the seminar was titled "Full-scale Deployment: Making the Business Case." This particular session focused on discussing the need for widespread deployment of public charging stations. However, the discussion quickly turned around as many panelists argued that there's si

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By October 2011, the ChargePoint America program, assisted by Coulomb Technologies, is expected to complete installation of 4,600 free public and home charging stations funded by a $15-million grant from the U.S. government. The chargers will appear in nine regions across the U.S.: Austin, TX, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, FL, Sacramento, CA, the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Bellevue/Redmond, WA, and Washington D.C.

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As potential Leaf owners move through the process of purchasing Nissan's groundbreaking electric vehicle, it has become quite clear that the company has each and every step planned out to the smallest detail. Last week, we reported that home charger quotes were rolling in and that Nissan was spot on with its estimate that an installed charging unit would set potential Leaf buyers back about $2,200. No problems there. But as news of the charging quotes circulated around, a group of Toyota RAV4 EV

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Companies working to build streetside electric vehicle chargers face a lot of obstacles. From deciding where to install them to worries about vandals unplugging the cord, there are a lot of issues that have nothing to do with the vehicle or the charging technology. Earlier today, when thinking about Coulomb's first Manhattan charging station, which is in a parking garage, we thought about one more problem with street-based charging units: how do you stop non-electric vehicles from parking there.

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The state of Washington is hoping to turn the interstate 5 corridor that runs from Canadian border to Oregon into the nation's first electric highway. With the help of a $1.32 million federal grant, Washington hopes to install between seven and 10 so-called Level 3 electric vehicle charging stations along the main north-south road. Level 3 stations charge at 400 volts and 30 amps or more. Such stations can charge a typical EV battery to 80 percent full in under 30 minutes.

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More and more fast charging system will hit the streets over the next decade as electric vehicles become more common. As the market grows, more and more players will enter the space. One of them, Netherlands-based Epyon, showed off its new fast charger this week in Amsterdam along with a public display of the Nissan Leaf.

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As we were discussing an upcoming story related to a certain extended range EV with some colleagues the other day, a potentially serious problem for EVs came up. The primary market for plug-in vehicles for the foreseeable future will be urban areas where the range limitations of battery-powered cars figure to be less of an issue. However, if you look at the older residential areas in many cities, you will find that many homes don't have garages and people have to park on the street.

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2010 Nissan Leaf - Click above for high-res image gallery

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It's well known by now that, aside from the cost, the biggest hurdle to the adoption of EVs may be a lack of charging infrastructure available to people most likely to use these vehicles. Those would be urban dwellers, many of whom live in apartment buildings. If apartment residents are lucky enough to have access to a parking garage, odds there is no plug nearby.

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Renault Zero Emission line-up - Click for high-res image gallery

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Right now – and likely even more so in the near future – lots of localities and businesses are installing electric vehicle charging stations at selected parking spots for customers and employees. For now, many of those stations are providing free electricity in a bid to encourage adoption of zero emissions plug-in vehicles. That works fine as long as the number of EVs remains relatively low, which it certainly will for at least then next several years. At some point however, if EVs s

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Future EV recharging networks? Plenty of them. Networks being built right now? Not that many. But thanks to our reader Antti, we found out that Finland's second largest city, Espoo, and the Fortum utility company are building an EV recharging network. Fortum also worked on the network in Stockholm, Sweden. Both Espoo and the utility company will use these stations next winter, with a plug-in Prius and an all-electric Fiat Doblò, as seen in Norway.

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