BP may not be quite ready to move beyond petroleum, but the infamous oil giant apparently isn’t opposed to electric vehicle charging, either. ECOtality announced this week that 45 BP and Arco gas stations in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington will play host to the company’s new 480-volt Blink fast chargers.
It’s a move that could change the way we think about gas stations, according to ECOtality Chief Executive Jonathan Read. “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,” he said in a statement.
No word yet on how much the gas stations will charge customers to juice up their EV’s, but all financial benefits will go to franchise owners–not the parent company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP, for its part, will get the chargers for free thanks to a grant
from the U.S. Department of Energy (ECOtality is the project manager for The EV Project, which is overseeing the installation of 15,000 charging stations
in 16 cities throughout the U.S.). The commercial chargers will eventually retail for $25,000 to $40,000.
BP and Arco aren’t the only companies getting free Blink EV charging stations. ECOtality is installing a total of 500 fast chargers across the country by the end of 2011. That includes a recently announced partnership with Best Buy to install chargers at 12 retail locations. As for the other commercial partners? We want to identify where [electric] cars will be in 10 years and serve some of those retailers,” Read explained to us recently.