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USA: Q&A with Pat Romano, CEO of Coulomb Technologies

Drivers of electric cars need a place besides their home garage to recharge their batteries, and publicly available charging stations — at workplaces, grocery stores, and shopping malls — are widely seen as part of the solution. Coulomb Technologies is a fast-growing Silicon Valley startup that is the leader in networked electric vehicle charging stations.

Coulomb now has more than 4,500 charging spots up and running in 14 countries. The company’s “ChargePoint Network” is open to all electric vehicle drivers — you sign up for monthly passes and swipe a card to pay for charging sessions — and half of the electric vehicle drivers in the United States now have a ChargePoint card.

In November, Nissan selected Coulomb’s ChargePoint Network to provide comprehensive electric vehicle public charging infrastructure locations for Nissan LEAF drivers; you can log on to the Nissan LEAF website, enter your zip code and receive up-to-date information on the charging infrastructure in your area. Coulomb now has 130 employees and is growing out of its current location in Campbell. The Mercury News recently interviewed Pat Romano, who joined Coulomb as CEO in February. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q Were you an electric vehicle enthusiast before you got this job?

A I had already wanted a Fisker Karma before I joined Coulomb. I enjoy things that are well designed and fun to drive. I’ve reserved a Fisker


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