Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 7, 2009 – The United States Department of Energy has awarded a grant of approximately $99.8 million to ECOtality subsidiary Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec) to undertake what will be the nation’s largest deployment of electric vehicles and the supporting charging infrastructure to date.
The project, to be undertaken in partnership with Nissan North America, will install electric vehicle charging infrastructure and deploy up to 1,000 Nissan LEAF battery electric vehicles in strategic markets in five states, Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.
“By studying lessons learned from electric vehicle operations and the infrastructure supporting these first 5,000 vehicles, the project enables the streamlined deployment of the next 5 million electric vehicles,” said Don Karner, president of eTec.
The project will collect and analyze data to characterize vehicle use in diverse topographic and climatic conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of charge infrastructure, and conduct trials of various revenue systems for commercial and public charge infrastructure. With the goal of developing mature charging environments, the project proposes to deploy charging infrastructure in major population areas including Phoenix and Tucson (AZ), San Diego (CA), Portland, Eugene, Salem and Corvallis (OR), Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga (TN), and Seattle (WA).
To support the Nissan LEAF, approximately 12,500 Level 2 (220 V) charging systems and 250 Level 3 (fast charge) systems will be installed.
It is anticipated that more than 750 new employment positions will be generated by the proposed project by 2012. In supporting the market launch of the Nissan electric vehicle, it is expected that over 5,500 new positions will be in place by 2017 as a direct result of the proposed project.
Nissan introduced the LEAF on August 2 as the world’s first affordable, zero emission car. Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery powered chassis, Nissan LEAF is a medium size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles. The Nissan LEAF will launch in the United States in late 2010, with U.S. production beginning in 2012 at the company’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee.
“Nissan appreciates the support of the Department of Energy in helping jumpstart the electrification of the transportation sector,” said Scott Becker vice president, legal and general counsel, Nissan North America. “This is a major step in promoting zero emission mobility in the United States.”
The DOE funding will be matched by the project participants. Federal matching funds will be used to design, deploy, and operate a mature charging infrastructure in support of future wide-scale deployment of EVs, and to evaluate the means to improve the effectiveness of this charging infrastructure.