In conjunction with the investment, ECOtality a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, and ABB have entered into a North American manufacturing agreement that establishes a collaborative and strategic supplier relationship between the ABB Group and ECOtality.
"We are pleased to announce that we will be working with ABB, Inc. to further expand the possibilities of electric transportation and make mass-consumer adoption a reality," stated Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. "Combining ECOtality's twenty-plus years of experience in electric transportation with ABB's expansive reach in power electronics and their strong relationship with international utilities will ensure we produce innovative and industry challenging EV charging solutions. This agreement will allow us to benefit from the extraordinary ABB global value chains, streamlines our sourcing and production capabilities and allows for Blink charging systems to be powered by ABB's industry leading power electronics."
Net proceeds of the $10 million equity investment from ABB will be utilized by ECOtality as working capital to support the continuing requirements of the EV Project and will provide the Company with necessary funding to meet its anticipated expansion as a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. As part of the transaction, ABB will have two representatives appointed to ECOtality's Board of Directors. In addition, ECOtality and ABB have formed a manufacturing agreement establishing ABB as the preferred supplier of ECOtality's power electronics and component parts in North America.
ABB and ECOtality will work together to develop innovative charging technologies for electric vehicles (EV) that incorporate the advanced functionalities of ECOtality's Blink™ EV charging stations, currently available through the Blink Network.
"The partnership brings together ABB's experience in smart grids, renewable energy and reliable, efficient power networks, with ECOtality's leadership in North America's growing market for electric vehicle infrastructure," said Brice Koch, head of ABB Marketing and Customer Solutions. "It is an ideal combination of skills that will provide the solutions customers are seeking to enable sustainable mobility while maintaining grid reliability."
ECOtality's current set of Blink EV charging solutions include the Blink Level 2 Home Charger for residential use, as well as the Blink Level 2 Pedestal Charger and Blink DC Fast Charger for commercial, fleet, and public locations. The Blink DC Fast Charger, introduced in October 2010, is capable of providing a full charge in less than 30 minutes.
All Blink charging stations include smart features that allow consumers and utility companies the ability to perform better energy management, smart meter management and interaction, and demand response capabilities. Additional capabilities are provided through the Blink Network; a web-portal that provides data about consumers' EVs, charging, and all Blink charging stations.
Both companies will also promote the use of ECOtality's EV Micro-Climate™ process to develop EV infrastructure roll-out plans for various projects. The EV Micro-Climate process, developed in conjunction with The EV Project, is a systematic approach that evaluates a variety of regional factors that influence EV infrastructure deployment. Taking into consideration EV market data, transportation routes, population density and zoning, the process helps develop blueprints to allow for the smart deployment of charging stations; to fuel consumer adoption of EVs.
ECOtality is project manager of The EV Project and will oversee the installation of 15,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 16 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.
Image: ECOtality's Blink DC Fast Charger is capable of providing EVs with a full charge in less than 30 minutes. ECOtality will be mass producing Blink DC Fast Chargers, utilizing ABB as the preferred supplier of electronics and component parts in North America.
For more attend: Electric Vehicles Land Sea Air Europe 2011.