Fresh off its catastrophic destruction of gulf waters, BP (and its subsidiary ARCO) is expressing interest in joining the ranks of companies supportive of electric cars and their charging infrastructure in the U.S. As part of a deal with ECOtality and The EV Project, BP will install DC Fast Charging stations at 45 BP and ARCO locations starting in March 2011.
Following their announcement of the availability of "Blink" DC Fast Charging Stations today, ECOtality will be the exclusive provider of charging equipment to BP and ARCO. The stations will be installed in the major pilot markets of The EV Project which include parts of Arizona, Southern California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Seattle, WA.
“When people think of refueling their cars, they think of gas stations, and we’re excited to work with BP to demonstrate a new way of fueling cars to the American driver,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “We designed our Blink DC fast chargers to meet the needs of both retailers and consumers and make electric vehicles a reality. As BP and ARCO locations are situated along major traffic routes we believe that DC fast charging is ideal for these types of locations.”
One could easily brush this off as a greenwashing campaign and a way for BP to try and smooth its image over with a very angry and skeptical population. But you could also see it as BP realizing that at least part of out transportation future will be taken up by electric cars and getting in early is a way to ensure market penetration. “Individual ownership of electric cars is still a relatively new concept” said Kevin Phelan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with BP. “We understand the importance of finding future energy solutions and this pilot allows us to test EV charging technology, gather real-world data and learn about how motorists use and charge electric vehicles."
DC Fast Charging is a method of charging properly equipped electric cars quickly—adding about 80 miles of range in 20-30 minutes. The Nissan LEAF and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV will have the option of adding DC Fast Charging outlets at the time of purchase, whereas the Chevy Volt will not.