February 12, 2011

ECOtality And Roush Begin Mass Manufacturing of Blink EV Charging Stations

ECOtality, Inc. began the mass manufacturing of its Blink™ Level 2 Charging Stations at Roush Manufacturing. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will join executives from both companies at a ribbon-cutting event to witness the first Blink units roll off the manufacturing line.

“Throughout each step of The EV Project, we’ve seen unprecedented consumer demand for electric vehicles, and partners like Roush have played a key role as we’ve brought our smart charging stations to market,” said Don Karner, president of ECOtality. “Roush’s stellar reputation and automotive OEM experience made them an ideal partner as we made the move to full-scale manufacturing. Together we are excited to bring an innovative, American-made charging station to EV drivers nationwide.”

ECOtality partnered with Roush in July 2010 to manufacture the company’s flagship Blink home and commercial charging stations. The agreement marked a major move for Roush—a global powerhouse in cutting-edge product development, composition, creation and testing—into the electric vehicle industry. This is an important evolutionary step for Roush and the automotive industry, as an existing Roush automotive facility has been modified to now support the developing EV industry. With the opening of the facility, Roush has been able to rehire employees that were previously laid off.

"Roush is an excellent example of a Michigan company that has reinvented itself and is successfully applying the power of Michigan to the next emerging industry," said Governor Rick Snyder. "Partnerships like these help us to ensure Michigan stays on the leading edge of technology and enhances our economic development efforts."

The Blink charging stations form the centerpiece of the rich charging infrastructure network ECOtality is deploying as part of the DOE-backed EV Project. Recently, the Blink chargers received Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listing and production immediately started.

“Roush is very excited about this program,” stated Evan Lyall, CEO of Roush Enterprises, Inc. “ECOtality and the DOE have partnered to develop an outstanding product, we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our ability to adapt our product development and integrations expertise to an emerging industry sector.”

The home charging stations offer several advantages over conventional charging stations, including advanced energy monitoring capabilities that allow homeowners to optimize their energy usage and charge their vehicles when rates are lowest. The Blink Network charger interface is the hub where users can receive information about their EV and Blink Home Charging Station including charge status, statistics and history.

Blink Home Charging Stations are available now to EV drivers and are free of charge to EV Project participants. The units can be installed indoors or outside at commercial locations, and both hardwire and plug-in charging stations are available.

As part of The EV Project, the largest rollout of EV infrastructure in history, ECOtality will monitor the energy usage and output of charging stations, to determine a viable method for mass adoption of electric vehicles and empower the smart grid.

ECOtality is project manager of The EV Project and will oversee the installation of commercial and residential charging stations in 17 cities and major metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant of $114.8 million, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The grants are matched by private investment, bringing the total value of the project to approximately $230 million.

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