San Francisco-based ECOtality, Inc., a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, recently unveiled the company's electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure plans for the metropolitan Phoenix area. The announcement signifies the conclusion of another phase of The EV Project, the world's largest rollout of EV infrastructure. ECOtality released EV charging maps that reveal the potential locations for the company's Blink EV chargers and discussed The EV Project's progress.

"These EV infrastructure blueprints are essential to preparing the greater Phoenix metropolitan area for EV deployment," states Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. "Arizona is part of a select group chosen to pioneer the installation and use of Blink charging stations in the United States. We are eager to begin laying the groundwork for EV infrastructure and are pleased with the support and cooperation we have received from the Arizona government and EV Project partners within the region."

As part of The EV Project, ECOtality will install approximately 920 publicly available Blink Level 2 EV charging stations in and around the Phoenix and MAG region at locations convenient to EV drivers, including retailers such as Best Buy. Additionally, approximately 40 commercial Blink DC Fast Chargers will be installed in the area. The recently introduced fast chargers are capable of providing a full charge in less than 30 minutes. ECOtality applied its advanced EV Micro-Climate process to determine the best possible sites for charging stations in the Phoenix area, and evaluated a variety of factors, including population density, zoning regulations, employment centers, and transportation routes.

"MAG is committed to supporting the development of EV charging infrastructure in the Sun Corridor. We are working to streamline the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles into the region," says Litchfield Park Mayor Thomas Schoaf, chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments. "Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making the Valley 'plug-in ready' and enhancing alternative transportation efforts that encourage individuals to incorporate green technology into their lives."

Part of ECOtality's planning process included working closely with local government agencies and regional stakeholders to ensure the proper location for Blink charging stations. Newly recognized project partners within the state include utility partners APS and the Salt River Project (SRP), as well as the Valley Forward Association.

"Charging EVs needs to be safe and intuitive to drivers. Collaboration on the infrastructure is essential to prepare Arizona for the next wave of EVs and enable more rapid adoption," says Barbara Lockwood, smart grid director at APS.

As part of an interconnected network of Blink charging stations, the Blink family of EV chargers offers Arizona drivers a variety of features that realize The EV Project's goal of creating a rich charging infrastructure. Blink chargers include intelligent and intuitive charging features that support the smart grid, including an internal meter that offers energy usage data evaluation, AMI Interface and demand response and energy management. Connected to the Blink Network, Blink charging stations allow users to access a variety of information including charge status, statistics and costs, as well as access via the Blink Network smartphone application to locate chargers with GPS.

"The rich EV infrastructure that we will create in Arizona will create a valuable test bed, yielding priceless data that will allow us to build a network that best meets the needs of EV drivers," says Don Karner, president of ECOtality North America. "ECOtality hopes to promote the consumer adoption of EVs nationwide, and is excited to have the support of the state of Arizona to help make this integral part of The EV Project a success."

As project manager for The EV Project, ECOtality is supervising the construction of the largest deployment of EV infrastructure to date. The $230 million public-private initiative is funded with a $114.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The EV Project includes 16 cities and major metropolitan areas in six states, and will result in the installation of approximately 15,000 charging stations in 2011.