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Coulomb Technologies to Provide 4,600 Free Home and Public Charging Stations Through ChargePoint America Program

Locations for the ChargePoint America program. Click to enlarge.

Coulomb Technologies, in partnership with Ford, Chevrolet and smart USA, will provide 4,600 free home and public ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations for electric vehicles throughout the United States through the ChargePoint America program.

ChargePoint America will provide 4,600 Level II (220 – 240 volts) public and private ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations by October 2011 to program participants in nine regions in the United States: Austin, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; Orlando, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, California; Redmond, Wash.; and Washington DC.

Charging station installation, in most regions, will be paid for by the individual or station owner, according to Coulomb.

Coulomb will work together with its distribution and industry partners to evaluate the demand from the respective geographic regions and allocate charging stations based on this and other factors. The ChargePoint America project will collect data characterizing vehicle use and charging patterns, and Purdue University and Idaho National Labs will analyze the data.

The $37-million ChargePoint America program is made possible by a $15-million grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy. ChargePoint charging stations are available now for installation in all nine designated regional metropolitan areas of the US.

(Three main factors went into the selection of the regions, Coulomb said. First, each region had to be on at least one of the participating automakers list of target regions where their vehicles will be for sale during the program period. Second, the regions themselves had to write a letter to support the grant proposal. Third, major metropolitan areas that were geographically dispersed were considered.)

More than 1,000 new public charging stations will be installed by December 2010, adding to the existing ChargePoint Network. The remaining stations will be installed by September 2011.

Any purchaser of a program electric vehicle (the Chevrolet Volt; the Ford Transit Connect and Ford Focus Electric; or the smart fortwo electric drive), whose home is located within one of the nine target regions, will be eligible to receive a home charging station at no cost. Homes must be within a 70-mile radius of a given city center to qualify. Individuals apply for the ChargePoint America program at the auto dealer or with the auto company where they purchase the new electric vehicle.

This grant will bring thousands of networked charging stations to nine US regions that are slated to receive the first electric vehicles from our automobile partners. These charging stations will build upon our already growing and established network of infrastructure and will accelerate the deployment of public and private charging infrastructure which will in turn encourage consumers to buy electric vehicles.

—Richard Lowenthal, CEO of Coulomb Technologies

Businesses interested in receiving public charging stations should visit the ChargePoint America web site and sign up by completing the application form. Individuals interested in purchasing an EV can sign up at to receive more information about qualifying to receive a home charging station. Additionally, the ChargePoint America web site provides a way to suggest public locations for charging stations.

ChargePoint Network stations are network-enabled, capable of reporting energy usage and communicating over the network with Software Application Services and Network Support Services to activate capabilities such as:

  • Providing open access for all drivers using any standards-based RFID card
  • Generating revenue for station owners to offset electricity and maintenance costs
  • Sending SMS or Email notifications to drivers for charging complete or interruptions in charging
  • Controlling access to eliminate energy theft and to enhance safety
  • Integrating with the utility Smart Grid for demand side management and preferred pricing

Charging stations owners can set their own prices for charging through the Flex Billing system. The Flex Billing system enables station owners to set pricing as a function of time of day, calendar date, and driver. Those same stations can also be configured to provide free access to EV drivers.

Coulomb currently has the largest established base of networked charging stations worldwide with more than 700 units shipped to more than 130 customers in 2009.



Perhaps employers could contract with companies to install charge stations at work. Those companies might own and operate the stations and charge the employers a monthly fee per station. That might lower up front costs and risks.


Better SJC, how about employers provide free charging to customers and get business expense deductions for the same. I'd like to see profitable employers offer to guarantee or co-sign car loans for EV purchases by employees. They would receive a tx credit for doing so.

The more incentives applied to this transition early on - the sooner the EV purchase tipping point will be reached. That is the point at which every new car buyer realizes that EVs are the future and a good economic choice.


$37 million for 4,600 level II chargers? That is around $8,000 each!
Homes in the UK have 220-240 Volt fitted as standard, so there are millions of them!
If this were level III then it would make sense, not otherwise.


I was thinking about employees that park the car for 8 hours at a time more than customers that shop for an hour or less. To make a difference it makes sense to go for people that drive lots of miles. The commuter that burns 1000 gallons of gasoline per year just getting to work and back home is a good candidate for an EV with 60 mile range with charging at work.

Employers that install charging stations would help quite a bit, but it is a hassle to task someone in the company to do this if the company is not large. That is why I suggested the easy call to a company that does this as a business. They install the chargers and the employer pays a rent/lease.


"ChargePoint Network stations are network-enabled, capable of reporting energy usage and communicating over the network with Software Application Services and Network Support Services..."

Coulomb is trying to seed the market with a charger "standard" that will give them a lead. While there's nothing wrong with giving away chargers, as DaveMart points out, what's with $8k for a 220V 40-50A circuit???

The fact is the automakers COULD build all the necessary safety tech to meet any IEEE EV Level II standard into their plug. The EV's built-in charger could handle all the safety handshaking etc. necessary to meet any local or federal certification.

If the idea is to demonstrate how inexpensive and convenient EV charging really is, the cost to "electrify" your parking space at work or home should be no more than running a 220V 3phase dryer type outlet.

ChargePoint and other manufacturers need to add some REAL value if they think they're gonna sell these things to consumers and businesses at the price point claimed in this project.


As someone who is typically skeptical of middle-men, intermediaries, brokers, 'service providers', and others who would provide some type of subscription service (or other layer of fees) for a product that already exists (the electrical grid), i would be interested to know what the premium $ per kWh is on having this networked service - even if it is smart-grid and time-based charging. Why not get an electrician hook-up your garage and then get an off-the-shelf (future shelf, of course) one-time cost metering system with a standardized connection?

I can't think of anything that will disable the full throttle roll-out of EV cars as a bunch of Utility-vultures charging convenience fees and management charges based on connecting the grid to your EV. Kind of an earlier-adopter tax as per other high end electronics that require subscription access (cel service, mobile data, etc.). I just hope we get this industry highly-highly price regulated before the mass collusion begins. There is no reason why a car can't get 1/4 the cost per mile by battery than current prices of gas - and i want to see it stay that way.


Maybe the high cost is also due to installation costs, etc. Not just the station.
I suspect the home installations will be much less than $8000 if it's just bolted down in the garage, and hooked up to a nearby 220v line.


If it costs $8k to wire up a home for EV's, then the electric car revolution is off the road!
This sounds like a scam for Government money.


It costs alot of money to hire a staff of people for several years to collect the data and maintain the network and do all that stuff.


Shouldn't employees use public (or pool) transport to go to work instead of one on one private EVs, at least for part of the way, i.e. the inner city portion? Car owners could use free parking + free charge points at multiple parking places at city rim and use e-buses or e-trains for the rest of the way.


I some areas that may be possible. In southern California out where the suburbs commute into other areas, many people drive 80 miles round trip. There is no mass transit and probably will not be any soon.


There is no reason to worry about middle men, when BEVs are available, the market will be full of all sizes and types of chargers made in the US, Japan, S. Korea, China, India, . . .

$8k for a "work" or home charger ?

BS !

They do not need to be FAST chargers; they have 8+ hours to provide 80% of the usable charge (or less if the EV was not at the bitter end).

110v for 8 hours at 3kW is 24kWHrs, and a 30 kWH BEV uses less than 24 kWH. A 3kW hair dryer is $20 and a buzz box welder is $300.

Need to control it?
By then BEVs will have an output that can turn down or turn off the charger (or the equivalent).


Should a heavy 115-220-480 Volts charger be on-board or at charging points? For energy economy, it seems that on-board heavy flex voltage, flex power chargers could have a higher initial cost + extra on-going energy usage cost.

It could be more efficient to equip charge points with Level I, or Level II or Level III chargers (as required only). Of course, 115/220 Volts residential Level I chargers could be very simple and very low cost when mass produced. People with less time and more money could equip their garage (and/or outside parking) with Level II chargers. That will be the minority (5% ?). Public charge points will be mostly Level III with Level II for shopping centers etc.

The progressive installation of many million fixed chargers is not a challenge. If the world can produce 100 million vehicles a year it could very well produce 500+ million chargers a years.

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