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Way Behind on Seattle Charging Stations, ECOtality Blames EV Sales

ECOtality is behind on the installation of its charging stations, and now blames EV sales.

Seattle is known to have some of the highest EV adoption rates in the U.S. It’s not alone in the region. In the states of Washington and Oregon, the LEAF is now Nissan’s number one selling car, outselling everything from Nissan SUVs to its popular Altima sedan. With these kind of figures, you’d expect public charging infrastructure to be similarly well represented.

That’s why it’s odd that electric vehicle infrastructure provider ECOtality told Seattle-based earlier this week that poor sales figures were responsible for lackluster EV charging station rollout in the area.

In 2009, ECOtality received $115 million in U.S. Department of Energy funds to help it build a nationwide EV recharging network, the largest amount given by the energy department to any EV infrastructure company. ECOtality also partnered with Nissan North America, Chevrolet, University of California at Davis, Idaho and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Best Buy, Sprint, Cisco, and Fred Meyer on the EV Project. Despite these partnerships, ECOtality and The EV Project have under-delivered on public charging stations, especially in the Seattle area.

In early 2011, ECOtality said it would install 22 direct current rapid chargers and 1,200 Level 2 chargers in the region by the end of 2011. As of last week, the U.S. Department of Energy said ECOtality has installed six rapid chargers and just under 370 Level 2 units, once again revealing problems that ECOtality has acknowledged in the past.


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