San Francisco-based ECOtality, a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, announced recently that the company has entered into an agreement with the City of Houston to initiate ECOtality’s Micro-Climate Program for the Houston region, in collaboration with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI).

The EV Micro-Climate Program, created by ECOtality, supports jurisdictions in comprehensive planning for the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. ECOtality’s Micro-Climate Program will bring together key regional stakeholders, establish comprehensive deployment guidelines, provide long range planning (10+ years), as well as create a short-term blueprint and action plan for the Houston region to become immediately EV ready.

ECOtality’s President and CEO Jonathan Read says, “By implementing a smart, process-orientated and structured planning program, regions are better able to meet the needs of the new wave of EV drivers. ECOtality’s work with the City of Houston and the Clinton Climate Initiative continues our strong commitment to EV infrastructure planning. We look forward to working with the Clinton Climate Initiative to provide the necessary guidance for successful charging infrastructure deployment in communities nationwide — and this starts with Houston.”

ECOtality North America President Don Karner adds, “The Micro-Climate planning process is a disciplined approach that serves as a catalyst for stakeholders in the area. Through our efforts on The EV project, our team brings strong experience to facilitate a successful collaborative environment to address regional infrastructure needs. We look forward to working closely with the City of Houston and other local stakeholders to create a locally driven Micro-Climate Plan.”

In July, the Houston area was officially added to ECOtality’s EV Project, where the City of Houston will assist in the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles in the region. “Houston has long been considered the energy capital of the world,” says Mayor Annise Parker. “With ongoing research and development of wind, solar, and geothermal energy, we are on the cusp of becoming the alternative energy capital of the world. Our growing partnerships will make it affordable and easy for Houstonians to embrace cleaner technologies.”

Houston is one of 16 cities that have joined the C40 Electric Vehicle Network, a group of cities that are committed to making their cities more electric vehicle-friendly. The formation of the network was announced in December 2009 at the Climate Summit for Mayors, held alongside the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The member cities include Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Chicago; Copenhagen; Delhi, India; Hong Kong; Houston; London; Los Angeles; Madrid, Spain; Mexico City; Portland, Ore., Sao Paulo, Brazil; Seoul, Korea; Sydney, Australia; and Toronto. As the delivery partner of the C40, CCI is helping these cities, including Houston, to develop their electric vehicle strategies and convene and collaborate with key industry stakeholders to facilitate and accelerate implementation.

The CCI, a program of the nonprofit William J. Clinton Foundation, works with governments and businesses around the world to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change.

As project manager for The EV Project, ECOtality North America will oversee the deployment of nearly 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities across six U.S. states, as well as in Washington, D.C. The project, which is a private-public partnership with a total value of $230 million, is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant of $114.8 million. The goal of The EV Project is to create and test robust electric vehicle-charging environments.

Marc Sobelman of ECOtality North America has been named the regional manager for the Micro-Climate program in Houston and can be reached at msobelman@etecevs.com.