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DATE News (chronologically)
02/12/11
automotive
Roush launches output of EV chargers
Roush Manufacturing Inc. has begun manufacturing home and commercial plug-in electric-vehicle chargers for Ecotality Inc.

Livonia, Mich.-based Roush will manufacture 10,000 wall-mounted chargers for residential use and 6,000 pedestal chargers for commercial use as part of its contract with San Francisco-based Ecotality, the company said during the ribbon-cutting of a new plant on Friday housed within Roush Enterprises Inc.'s headquarters complex.

The Blink brand residential chargers will be offered for free to owners of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt through Ecotality's EV Project. The initiative also will cover most of the installation costs, which can range from $2,000 to $4,000.

The EV project intends to install the 16,000 chargers in U.S. cities and is funded by a $114.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant was matched by General Motors Co. and Nissan North America Inc., raising the investment total to $230 million.

“Part of what we're trying to do with the Department of Energy is to build mature infrastructures so we can study those and learn how to transition from no infrastructure to fully-mature,” said Don Karner, president of Ecotality. “We're building laboratories that are going to help us better deploy infrastructure and vehicles in the next 50 or 500 cities.”

Karner said the company will be creating a large vehicle-operation database as the company collects information from the chargers--driving habits, trip distances--that can be used by agencies such as the National Highway Transportation Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

The Blink chargers will be installed in cities including Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

“For Roush and Michigan, this has allowed us to take a facility that had potential to idle--based on the fact that it was developing niche-vehicle automotive parts, which there hasn't been much demand for lately--and repurpose it for this consumer product,” said Roush Enterprises CEO Evan Lyall. AutoWeek Magazine
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