ECOtality Inc. is a young company that has quickly become a known leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Today the company announced that its subsidiary Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec) has been awarded $8 million from the California Energy Commission to support the largest-ever transportation electrification project.
With this $8 million award, eTec will be able to support the deployment of charge infrastructure and electric vehicles (EVâ€™s) in the San Diego region. This will serve as part of eTecâ€™s â€œAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Cost Share: Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.â€
When asked about the ramifications to eTec, Don Karner who serves as the president of the subsidiary stated, “As eTec’s proposed project to the U.S. Department of Energy is anticipated to deploy up to 2,550 charging stations in the San Diego area, this additional funding from the California Energy Commission will allow for a substantial increase in the amount of charge infrastructure deployed in the region.â€ Karner also seemed very appreciate of the commission when he said, â€œWe’d like to thank the California Energy Commission and the State of California for their support of the largest transportation electrification project ever and commend their strategic foresight in positioning California as a leader in electric transportation.”
The California Energy Commission awarded funds to projects that successfully received federal funds from the U.S. Department of Energy’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Transportation Electrification Funding Opportunity Announcement. On August 5, 2009 eTec was awarded a record $99.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement the largest deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure in U.S. history.
In the subsidiaryâ€™s proposed project to the U.S. Department of Energy, eTec has formed an alliance with Nissan North America to deploy as many as 5,000 Nissan LEAF EVâ€™s and approximately 12,750 charging stations to be located in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington. This plan will spread the notoriety of the company.
Jonathan Read who serves as President and CEO of ECOtality was quoted saying, “The California Energy Commission award affirms the position of the State of California at the forefront of the electric transportation evolution and ensures that the San Diego region will have one of the most advanced EV charging infrastructures in the world. As the eTec project undertakes to make America EV ready, stimulate job creation and enhance our energy independence, this additional funding will help us achieve these important objectives.”
San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG& E), a regional partner of eTec, will play a vital role in numerous aspects of this project. When asked about the impact to their company, Debra L. Reed, President and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric said, “As a strategic partner on the eTec project, we’d like to thank the California Energy Commission for its funding award to the transportation electrification project. With this award, we now have the resources available to make the San Diego region first in the nation when it comes to truly being plug-in ready for electric transportation.”
While there are many entities that will benefit from eTecâ€™s award, there seems to be a consensus that ECOtality may end up becoming a major player on Wall Street. Currently, ECOtality is trading in the $0.12-13 range, but with this news and a strong and aggressive management team in place, ECOtality may be a sleeping giant that all investors dream of.