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Rebound ready: Michigan firm builds chargers for Volt & Leaf

It’s no secret that Michigan has been battered by the current economic downturn. Young people didn’t stick around after graduating, jobs left in droves, and a few titans of Detroit even had to ask the government for a bailout. The state is trying to reinvent itself with new leadership in Governor Rick Synder and an increased focus on new technology. Just this week a new plant opened in the state which will supply charging stations for Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf owners.

EV charging stations aren’t nearly as common as gas stations, a fact that was not missed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) so they created the EV Project. Through a series of grants they partnered with San Francsico’s ECOtality to install nearly 15,000 charging stations in seventeen test cities. The goal is to analyze the use of the charging spots in order to perfect the smart grid before widespread EV adoption. They also reeled in Chevy and their GM bosses as well as Nissan to participate in the project.

Back in July of 2010, ECOtality sought out Michigan’s Roush Manufacturing to build their flagship Blink Level 2 Charging Stations. One of Roush’s old plants would be retrofitted to build the stations and previous employees that got a pink slip would be re-hired. Just last month, the units gained an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Listing that gave them the go-ahead to start production.


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