Coulomb Technologies to install 4,600 electric vehicle charging stations


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California will receive about a third of the 4,600 electric vehicle charging stations that Coulomb Technologies plans to install for free around the country.

The company, based in Campbell, Calif., will immediately start setting up public and private stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area. The stations will also go up in Austin, Texas; Detroit; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Redmond, Wash.; and Washington, D.C.


Once installation launches in the coming weeks, more than 1,000 stations are scheduled to be put in by December, with the rest to be in place by September 2011.

Partnerships with major automakers mean that electric vehicles including the Chevrolet Volt, the Ford Transit Connect, the Ford Focus and the Smart Fortwo from Daimler AG will be available in the metropolitan areas with the stations.

A wide network of charging stations is expected to help quell fears that future electric car owners won’t be able to drive far before their batteries peter out.

The installations are part of a $37-million project called ChargePoint America, funded partly by a $15-million stimulus grant administered by the Department of Energy through the Transportation Electrification Initiative. Once the stations are in place, Purdue University and Idaho National Labs will analyze data about vehicle use and charging patterns.

Coulomb already has 700 stations operating around the country, with 130 customers.

-- Tiffany Hsu