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Jun 172010

An ECOtality design for a charging station.

From Green Right Now Reports

ECOtality, Inc. said today that the U.S. Department of Energy has expanded The EV Project to include two new cities, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and has broadened the offer of free home chargers to include qualified new owners of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended-range capability. The expansion also adds an additional 1,000 Nissan LEAF zero-emission cars to the Project, the company said.

This expansion will be funded by a $30 million U.S. Department of Energy grant extension to ECOtality’s EV Project, which was created through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The federal grant extension includes $15 million of funding that will be matched with $15 million in private funds, to reach the total of $30 million.

ECOtality is the project manager for The EV Project, which began in October 2009 with an original grant amount of $99.8 million and the objective of creating new jobs, jump-starting the economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lessening the country’s dependence on fossil fuel. With the assistance of more than forty partners, The EV Project will deliver nearly 15,000 residential and commercial chargers to 13 cities in five states and the District of Columbia. The mission of the Project is to evaluate the use of electric vehicles and charging systems in diverse geographies and climates, then to use that information to build a foundation that will optimize adoption of electric vehicles nationwide.

“Nissan is looking forward to bringing the Nissan LEAF and sustainable mobility to Los Angeles,” Eric Noziere, vice president of Corporate Planning at Nissan North America, said in a statement. “We have seen tremendous interest through early reservations from LA consumers. These 1,000 Nissan LEAF 100 percent electric cars and supporting charging infrastructure will help create a successful environment for electric vehicles as we approach the December launch of the Nissan LEAF.”

The mission of The EV Project is to collect and study data that will ultimately characterize how consumers actually use EVs in a wide range of climate conditions and geographies, as well as to create a model that will allow charging infrastructure to grow throughout the United States as a sustainable, stand-alone business that does not require long-term government support. Inclusion of the Volt now allows for the study of performance and use patterns for electric vehicles with extended-range capability.