Electrification advances with free Coulomb charge stations

  • 01-Jul-2010 02:57 EDT
Type used in ChargePoint America.jpg

Several varieties of Coulomb's ChargePoint station will be used as part of the ChargePoint America program, all employing an SAE J1772 connector.

Coulomb Technologies announced in June that it will deliver 4600 free networked charging stations in certain parts of the U.S. under the ChargePoint America program. The program is a partnership among ChargePoint station maker Coulomb and vehicle brands Ford, Chevrolet, and Smart USA to coordinate the installation of the stations with the sale of plug-in vehicles. More than 1000 new Level II 240-V charging stations will be installed by December in homes, businesses, public spaces, etc. The remainder will be installed by September 2011. The $37 million program, supported by a $15 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, involves nine metropolitan areas: Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Sacramento, San Francisco/San Jose, Redmond (state of Washington), and Washington, D.C. Coulomb claims to have the largest established base of networked charging stations worldwide, with more than 700 units shipped to more than 130 customers in 2009. Installation of the stations will begin immediately, and though targeted for plug-in hybrids under the ChargePoint America program they can also be used to charge pure-electric vehicles. The company is seeking input and requests from businesses and individuals as to where to locate the stations. The majority of the stations will be for public use, the remainder for private use in homes. As part of the program, a buyer of a plug-in vehicle from any of the partner companies will get a free ChargePoint home-charging unit. In announcing the program, Coulomb CEO Richard Lowenthal noted that driving on gasoline costs about seven times as much as driving on electricity.

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