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Green Transportation

Ecotality to offer free car charging in three U.S. cities

Electric vehicle service provider Ecotality announced that they will offer their smart charging services for free for the residents of the greater metropolitan areas of Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

The announcement is part of the company’s expansion of The EV Project, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The project aims to be the largest deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in history.

However, the service is available only to drivers of the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt – also partners of The EV Project – and those qualified will receive a free residential Blink wall mount charger as well as an installation credit of up to $400.

“With the expansion of this new market, The EV project is now in nine states and 21 major metropolitan areas throughout the country,” said Don Karner, chief innovation officer of Ecotality.

For each city, Ecotality partnered with local utilities, suppliers and organizations for the project. Local utility Commonwealth Edison in Chicago, Metro Atlanta Chamber and Clean Cities-Atlanta in Atlanta, and Philadelphia Electric Company are with the project.

The EV Project was launched in 2009 and ECOtality was awarded a 99.8 million dollar grant from the United States Department of Energy, with an additional $15 million granted a year later. At present, the total value of the project is now approximately $230 million with partner matches accounted for.

“The EV Project collects and analyzes data to characterize vehicle use in diverse topographic and climatic conditions, evaluates the effectiveness of charge infrastructure, and conducts trials of various revenue systems for commercial and public charge infrastructures,” the project’s Web site says.

“The ultimate goal of The EV Project is to take the lessons learned from the deployment of the first thousands of EVs, and the charging infrastructure supporting them, to enable the streamlined deployment of the next generation of EVs to come.” – EcoSeed Staff

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