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USA: Opinion: Chandler wisely agrees to vehicle-charging deal

Driving an electric car soon will be easier in Chandler.

About 50 charging stations are expected to be installed by summer throughout the city, including at Chandler Fashion Center, making it more convenient for drivers to recharge and complete their trips.

Chandler entered an agreement with ECOtality Inc., which will install stations at four city sites as part of a 12-month pilot program to evaluate users’ driving and charging habits.

The company is funding the project with stimulus and private dollars, so there is no cost to Chandler, and will split revenues with the city. The other stations will go on commercial property, though ECOtality has disclosed only the mall location.

Chandler is always on the cusp of new technology and innovation. It makes sense for ECOtality to install and test its Blink infrastructure in a city that promotes and nurtures technological companies and entrepreneurism. After the program is up, Chandler can choose to keep the stations or have ECOtality remove them, a condition the city was smart to include in the agreement.

Remember the wireless Internet project in Tempe a few years back? The public got free Wi-Fi downtown, but outdated equipment was left on light poles and other public places after the experiment. That is the last thing Chandler needs if this program fails. The companies that are in talks with ECOtality should include the same condition in their agreements.



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