Charging further and faster

A Nissan Leaf is seen with the fast, 30-min charger at the Chicago auto show.

Today while many of us in the news biz were glued to our desks working on Earthquake/Tsunami coverage, tremors of a different sort were being felt in Philly, as a new partnership was announced to ramp up the number of charging stations, and the speed of charging, available to the still-nascent electric-car culture.

As you'll recall, we've been watching the growth of this phenomenon for a while. But since Earth to Philly was unable to attend this announcement event, we'll pass along this press release that explains it all for you...

350Green to Bring State-Wide Network of Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Stations to Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (March 11, 2011) 350Green, a developer of electric vehicle (EV) charging station networks, announced a partnership today with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to design, build and operate a network of 22 EV fast charging and 44 Level 2 charging stations across the state. 350Green’s chargers will be located in high-traffic urban shopping areas predominantly in and around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, close to where commuters live and work. 350Green’s network will provide an option for drivers who are looking for an alternative to high gas prices.

“This project addresses the chicken and egg problem of electric vehicles and charging stations,” said Mariana Gerzanych, 350Green’s co-founder and CEO. “By investing in public charging stations now, consumers can be confident that there will be convenient locations for charging their EVs when they roll into Pennsylvania. With gas at or near $4 a gallon, more and more people are looking for an alternative to petroleum.”

The project is being undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is part of the state’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2000 levels by 2020. Projections show that by 2015, approximately 33,000 EVs will be on the road in the state of Pennsylvania. By 2020, those numbers increase to nearly 400,000, or 7 percent of all the automobiles in the state. Assuming these numbers, 350Green estimates that its charging network can help displace 260 million gallons of fuel, which represents $580 million in avoided costs (in today’s dollars) and 1.6 million cumulative tons of CO2 removed per year.

In this initial phase, the construction, operation and management of the 22 DC Fast and 44 Level 2 charging stations will create approximately six jobs in the state of Pennsylvania. 350Green plans to open an in-state office to manage community outreach and education, reporting and local operations. The company has also committed to hiring contractors and vendors based in the state. The next phase of this project will include placing charging stations in communities that connect the cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Construction will begin in the second half of 2011 and is scheduled to be complete by mid-2012.