Monday, December 5, 2011

The EV Project in Washington, D.C.

For a number of months as I've read wonderful news about the progress ECOTality has made with The EV Project in terms of both improving the charging infrastructure here in the United States as well as working with we EV owners to try and learn how a typical EV Driver uses his EV.  One of the ways ECOTality is helping EV Owners is by providing them with the free installation and use of an EVSE in their home.  In return, via a networking connection on the EVSE and the car, the EV owner provides The EV Project with detailed statistics on their vehicle's at-home and around town charging pattern.

The EV Project has been very active on the West Coast in California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona as well as Texas and Tennessee.  They've worked closely with both Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt buyers to identify homes which qualify for their program.  In these states, ECOTality contracted Blink to provide the EVSEs for the program.  However, the Washington, D.C. region has been mysteriously absent from all but a handful of press releases.  In fact its hard to find any press release about the capital region beyond the one announcing the region's addition.

For months now I've been trying to get answers from ECOTality as to why there's been no news of installations in the D.C. region.  Yet every inquiry I made was met with silence.  And until recently I thought I was alone in this curiosity, but the topic is now become quite popular in the Capital LEAF Owners Facebook page as well as among the EVA/DC members.  So I was happy to finally hear back from Robert Nowaczewski from the Blink Network Support with some information that can finally shed some light on The EV Project in D.C.

officially only the Chevy Volt qualifies… not even the Nissan LEAF

It turns out that The EV Project won't will be using Blink chargers for the home EVSE program; the SPX EVSE isn't part of the program.  However, they are subcontracting the installation to SPX.  SPX produces the the official EVSE recommended by GM for the Chevy Volt.  What's more, officially only the Chevy Volt qualifies under The EV Project in the D.C. region, not even the Nissan LEAF.

The reason for this is likely due to Nissan's seven month delay in opening up orders for the D.C. region.  But now the LEAFs are popping up like weeds in the D.C. region and there's no excuse why this car can't also be part of the project in the nation's capital.  Unfortunately, this isn't the only injury the LEAF delay has caused.

As for which zip codes qualify for The EV Project, these need to come from SPX.  I've yet to hear from Mr. Nowaczewski or SPX with a list of qualifying codes.  Thus, I'm unable to provide any details for Chevy Volt owners to apply, however I will update this post when new information arises.