ABB has gained a foothold in North America’s market for electric vehicle (EV) charging technology by investing $10 million in San Francisco-based ECOtality.
ECOtality specialises in electric transportation and storage technologies and will use the investment to foster its expansion and fund its participation in the EV Project, a programme to develop EV infrastructure in 16 major US cities.
The deal also makes ABB the preferred supplier for ECOtality’s power electronics and component parts in North America. The two 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 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 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.”