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Hybrid Car Charging Stations Team Up

The two biggest providers of electric car charging stations in the U.S. are teaming up so that drivers will more easily be able to find their combined 15,000 locations, and recharge by swiping a single card.

The companies, ChargePoint Inc. and ECOtality Inc., ECTY -1.84% operate networks that handle about 90% of public car charging in the country. But drivers currently need to carry separate cards to use each company’s network, and use different apps to locate their charging stations.

In an effort to simplify life for customers—and encourage more people to embrace plug-in hybrid vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt—the companies are setting up a new venture dubbed Collaboratev LLC. It will allow drivers who sign up with either company to access the combined network of charging stations. The companies hope other charging services will join the effort.

“Can I use any station, without a hassle, and can I find the station in the first place? We’re trying to solve both problems by working together,” said Pat Romano, chief executive of Charge Point, based in Campbell, Calif. He likened the idea to the access consumers have to thousands of ATMs because banks worked out a system to share their machines and route transactions back to the right accounts


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