Electric vehicle infrastructure with ABB, ECOtality

ABB invests $10 million, signs accord to supply technology for ECOtality's Blink charging stations.


ECOtality BLINKABB has invested $10 million in San Francisco-based ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technologies company, to enter North America’s electric vehicle (EV) charging market and provide ECOtality with a strong global ally in power delivery systems.

ECOtality will use the investment to foster its expansion and finance initial requirements of the EV Project, a program to develop electric vehicle infrastructures in 16 major U.S. cities funded by a $115 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The project involves installation of more than 15,000 chargers to support the deployment of 8,300 electric vehicles.

In addition, the companies have signed an agreement establishing ABB as the preferred supplier for ECOtality’s power electronics and component parts in North America. The companies will work together to develop charging technologies for electric vehicles that incorporate the advanced consumer interface and billing functionalities of ECOtality’s Blink EV charging stations. Through its smart grids industry segment initiative, ABB will contribute its expertise from several projects in Europe involving integration of EV charging solutions.

“The partnership brings together ABB’s experience in smart grids, renewable energy and reliable, efficient power networks, with ECOtality’s leadership in North America’s growing market for electric vehicle infrastructure,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB Marketing and Customer Solutions. “It is an ideal combination of skills that will provide the solutions customers are seeking to enable sustainable mobility while maintaining grid reliability.”

ECOtality Inc. has a full range of systems for charging electric vehicles parked at the home or office, or during short stops to “top off” while on longer journeys. ECOtality expects to have the largest installed base of charging stations in the United States in two years through the DOE-funded EV Project, and plans to work with utilities and municipalities to create plug-in ready regions through its proprietary EV Micro-Climate process. The company currently employs about 100 people.

“Together with ABB, we can further expand the possibilities of electric transportation and make mass-consumer adoption a reality,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “Our North American manufacturing agreement with ABB will allow us to rapidly increase production and expand our business.”

The investment was made through ABB Technology Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm. Related strategic steps during the past 12 months included an investment in Trilliant’s end-to-end system for smart grid communications and a research and development project with General Motors to investigate energy storage uses for electric vehicle batteries once their useful life in the vehicle is over.



- Edited by Gust Gianos, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
2015 Mid-Year Report: Manufacturing's newest tool: In a digital age, digits will play a key role in the plant of the future; Ethernet certification; Mitigate harmonics; World class maintenance
2015 Lubrication Guide: Green and gold in lubrication: Environmentally friendly fluids and sealing systems offer a new perspective
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths
New industrial buildings: Greener, cleaner, leaner; New building designs for industry; Take a new look at absorption cooling; Offshored jobs start to come back

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.