ECOtality will offer its Blink charging stations free to residents and commercial host sites in the Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY) announced Wednesday that it will offer its Blink charging stations free to residents and commercial host sites in the Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, as part of its expansion of The EV Project, a public-private partnership with the DOE.
“Now residents and businesses…can join The EV Project and help us build a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations,” said ECOtality’s Don Karner. “By signing up for a free charger, EV owners can take part in this massive research project that can help reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil. With the expansion of this new market, The EV project is now in nine states and 21 major metropolitan areas throughout the country.”
Of course, every savvy consumer realizes that “free” is a relative term. In its public press release, ECOtality says only that “qualified residents, who have taken ownership of either the Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt, will receive a free residential Blink wall mount charger as well as an installation credit up to $400, subject to certain conditions.” One of the EV Project’s main goals is to gather data about EV drivers’ charging habits, so one of those conditions will doubtless involve agreeing to share details of your daily routine with the company.
Spokespersons for the local power companies that are partners in the project waxed enthusiastic, and described additional local incentives for EV drivers.
Georgia Power’s Ben Echols said, “electric vehicles are quiet, clean and efficient and offer users the opportunity to save money on fuel and maintenance costs, reduce their environmental impact, and contribute to the energy independence of the U.S. by using a domestically produced source of energy. Georgia Power offers a Plug-In Electric Vehicle rate that provides customers a significant discount on electricity during the hours when they are most likely to charge their vehicles: 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., every day. It’s easy for customers to take advantage of our special rate by simply programming their Blink charger or setting a timer on their vehicle. In addition, they can shift other home energy use and save even more money on their electric bill.”
Craig Adams, CEO of Philadelphia utility PECO, said, “to support this effort, in June, we launched PECO Smart Driver Rebates. This exciting program offers rebates and incentives for residential and business customers investing in new electric vehicle technology including a $50 rebate for residential and business customers who have purchased an electric vehicle, a $1,000 rebate per unit for our government, institutional and non-profit customers installing up to two Level 2 public chargers, and a up to a $3,000 rebate for local counties who are installing a Level 2 public charging station.”