ECOtality Inc., a company that works on clean electric transportation and storage technologies, has announced the formation of a partnership with car2go, a car sharing service that is a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation. The two companies will be developing a system that will provide a large-scale electric vehicle-charging infrastructure that will be designed to support the first 100-percent electric car-sharing program in North America.
The program, which is being put into place in the San Diego metropolitan area, will consist of a fleet of about 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles, making it the largest single fleet of electric vehicles in the United States to date. There are expected to be roughly 1000 charging stations deployed in the metro area as part of the project.
Jonathan Read, the CEO of ECOtality, had this to say about the project, "Innovative car-sharing programs like car2go's service are pivotal to encouraging the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles. As we deploy approximately 1,000 Blink charging stations in the San Diego region as part of The EV Project, we are creating the robust public infrastructure necessary for car2go's program to succeed. Together, we will show that EVs are a perfect fit for the lifestyle of San Diego drivers."
The project is expected to begin late in 2011. Data collected from this first city will be used to understand how consumers use electric vehicles and better understand charging patterns. This data will be used in the roll out of a larger scale program. At an undisclosed point in the future ECOtality hopes to be able to put out a network of 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities in the United States. The project is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Explore further: Solar Impulse beats new record, but pilot 'tired'