eTec to Test Electric Vehicles, Charging Stations in 5 Markets

Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc. received $99.8 million in federal funds to test and analyze electric vehicle (EV) usage and charging infrastructure. The company will test these systems in Oregon, Arizona, California, Tennessee and Washington.

The goal of the project is to encourage the expansion of an electric vehicle infrastructure that will eventually be available for widespread use of EV owners throughout the nation. eTec is partnering with Nissan North America on the project to deploy up to 5,000 electric vehicles and 12,750 charging stations.

eTec chose to strategically partner with Portland General Electric (PGE) in Oregon to advance the understanding of EV usage patterns and their impact on the electrical grid, as well as provide synergies with PGE’s smart grid initiatives.

“This announcement is an exciting and important step forward to develop the critical infrastructure necessary in Oregon to support next-generation electric vehicles that are coming to market in 2010,” said Jim Piro, president and chief executive officer of PGE. “This project will give us a better understanding of how the charging of electric vehicles can effectively be integrated into a smart electric grid at the lowest possible cost. We’d like to thank eTec, Nissan, Governor Ted Kulongoski and the state of Oregon for sharing our vision of bringing transportation and electricity together to better serve our customers.”

PGE has already partnered with local governments and businesses to install nearly 20 EV charging stations in the Portland-metro area and Salem.

“We’re thrilled to enter the Portland market and sincerely thank Governor Kulongoski, the state of Oregon, and PGE for their support and partnership in eTec’s proposal submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Don Karner, president of eTec.

“By studying lessons learned from electric vehicle operations and the infrastructure supporting these first 5,000 vehicles, the proposed project will enable the streamlined deployment of the next 5 million electric vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy has shown great foresight in funding a project that deploys the largest number of vehicles and infrastructure that will make America electric-vehicle ready,” Karner added.

Depending on ongoing contract negotiations, up to 1,000 Nissan electric vehicles will be made available at Oregon Nissan dealerships in fall 2010, and 2,500 charging stations will be installed at homes and businesses beginning in the summer of 2010 for residents and businesses that choose to participate. Level 2 (220V) charging systems will be installed in residential, public and commercial locations. Level 3 fast-charge systems will be installed in high-traffic areas and strategic locations to allow consumers to charge on-the-go and extend daily driving range.

By 2012, it is anticipated more than 750 new jobs will be generated in the United States by the proposed project. By supporting the market launch of the Nissan EV, it is expected more than 5,500 new jobs will be in place by 2017 as a direct result of the proposed project.

Oregonians and businesses that purchase the Nissan LEAF will be eligible to participate in the project and can find out more information about the vehicle at If the decision is made to purchase a Nissan EV and participate in the project, purchasers will be provided installed charging equipment at the consumer’s home or business at no cost.

Markets in the four other states will also each receive up to 1,000 vehicles. Markets were evaluated and chosen based on favorable regulatory environment, strong market demographics, climate differentials, topographies, and transportation patterns.

It is estimated that each Nissan EV will save as much as 436 gallons of gasoline per year compared to a comparable family sedan. For the entire fleet of 5,000 demonstration Nissan EVs, the fuel saving would be more than 2 million gallons of gasoline (51,900 barrels) per year. During the two year demonstration period, more than 4.3 million total gallons of gasoline (103,800 barrels) would be saved.

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