ABB has invested $10m in San Francisco-based ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technologies company, to enter North America's electric vehicle (EV) charging market.

ECOtality will use the investment to finance initial requirements of an EV project, which involves installation of more than 15,000 chargers to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs.

The project aims to develop electric vehicle infrastructures in 16 major US cities funded by a $115m grant from the Department of Energy (DOE).

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 EVs that incorporate the advanced consumer interface and billing functionalities of ECOtality’s Blink EV charging stations.

The investment was made through ABB Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of ABB.