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ECOtality Steps Out of the EV Project Bubble : Greentech Media

For more than three years, ECOtality(NASDAQ: ECTY) has been basking in the warmth of about $100 million federal dollars. Now, as the U.S. Department of Energy’s EV Project winds down, the electric transportation technologies company is back out in the cold, faced with the harsh reality of selling its wares to the people on the open marketplace.

ECOtality introduced a new family of home electric vehicle chargers on Wednesday to compete in the wider market. The charger comes with a membership to the larger Blink charging network and $100 charging credit with purchase. Most of the participants in the EV Project received their Blink chargers at no cost.

The product offerings include two new programmable level 2 home chargers, which can be set to delay charging when rates are lowest. Another charger with remote access capabilities is also coming. The products will be sold online through retailers.

The initial price point is lower than most level 2 chargers at $599, but not as low as Bosch’s $450 offering that recently came to market. The $100 credit is good for six months and can be used at any of the approximately 3,000 public Blink chargers, which are concentrated in about fifteen cities.

“Our premiere line of Blink HQ home charging products offer EV drivers exactly what they’ve been asking for: connection to the Blink Network, freedom to charge at home at their convenience and unprecedented value,” Ravi Brar, CEO of ECOtality, said in a statement.

The question of cost versus software and controls will be sorted out in the market in coming years, as more automakers introduce all-electric and plug-in hybrids into the market. Bosch and ECOtality hover around $500 as an entry point, which is about half of what most level 2 chargers go for today. Other charging companies will likely roll out lower-priced chargers to compete.



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