Electric-Vehicle Charging Station Debuted at AEP Ohio, Walmart Event

COLUMBUS, Ohio AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) premiered central Ohio’s first free, public electric-vehicle charging station today, July 13, at the Walmart Supercenter/Sam’s Club at 3900 Morse Road in Columbus.

The Blink® charging station, located between the Walmart Supercenter/Sam’s Club location, was developed by San Francisco-based ECOtality, Inc. (NYSE: ECTY), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. The charging station features two Blink Pedestal units that allow two drivers to charge their electric vehicles simultaneously. Charging times vary by vehicle. 


Resulting from a unique partnership between Walmart and AEP Ohio, the charging station is part of AEP Ohio’s gridSMART® initiative to promote energy efficiency and Walmart’s corporate “Sustainability 360” effort.  


“Educating the public about and promoting electric vehicles as a mode of transportation via this charging station is a milestone for AEP Ohio,” said Robert Powers, president of AEP Utilities. “Incorporating electric vehicles as part of our gridSMART® Demonstration Project in northeast central Ohio helps us to determine their impact on our electric grid and shows their viability within the retail market.”


Though not the first public charging station in the state, it is the first in central Ohio. 


“As part of Walmart’s broad sustainability goal, we consider all available and emerging technologies that utilize renewable energy,” said David Ozment, director of energy at Walmart Stores. “We evaluate how they work for our business and find ways to use our scale to bring these technologies to market. We are pleased to partner with AEP Ohio in making this charging station available and the opportunity it offers us to promote energy-efficient practices with our customers and in our own operations.”


AEP and AEP Ohio are taking a holistic approach to the development of a smart distribution grid through the company's gridSMART® initiative, which is designed to provide customers greater energy control and improve electric distribution service and performance. AEP Ohio has incorporated various smart grid devices, products and technologies, including electric vehicles, into the project to test their impact on the utility grid.


ECOtality, developer of the Blink line of electric-vehicle car chargers and operator of the Blink Network, is currently the Project Manager for the Department of Energy-sponsored EV Project, the largest deployment of electric-vehicle infrastructure in the United States. ECOtality’s Blink line of electric-vehicle car-charging stations provides intelligent, user-friendly features that intuitively and safely charge electric vehicles. The Blink Pedestal car-charger that is installed at this location is a Level 2 (240 VAC) charger, which features interactive color touch screens and real-time communication capabilities that can integrate with various smart grid and energy-management programs.


“The alliance between AEP Ohio, Walmart and ECOtality exemplifies the collaboration needed to develop charging solutions that meet the needs of utilities and enhances the consumer experience,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “The intelligence, real-time communications and network controls of our Blink chargers are an ideal fit with the gridSMART initiative. ECOtality is excited to work with Walmart and AEP Ohio to enhance public awareness of electric-vehicle car charging and encourage cleaner transportation.”


The U.S. has pledged $2.4 billion in federal grants for electric cars and batteries to fulfill President Obama's promise of bringing 1 million plug-in hybrids to American roads by 2015. The administration has pledged $2.4 billion in federal grants to develop next-generation electric vehicles and batteries. A maximum federal income tax credit of $7,500 is also available to consumers.


Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technology promises benefits in fuel efficiency and economy, environmental responsibility and increased energy security. AEP Ohio has integrated 11 electric cars into its automotive fleet, including the Chevy Volt and the Ford Escape PHEV.


About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at www.aepohio.com.  For additional details about AEP Ohio's other energy efficiency programs, visit www.gridSMARTOhio.com.


About American Electric Power (AEP)
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east and north Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at www.aep.com.


About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at 9,000 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found at www.walmartstores.com, on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmart and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.


About ECOtality, Inc.
ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, ECOtality accelerates the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels. For more information about ECOtality, Inc., please visit www.ecotality.com.


Additional Information

  • Interview opportunities with AEP Ohio, Walmart and ECOtality North America, a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, can be arranged.
  • Visit http://frazierheiby.com/Uploads/AEP-Walmart.zip  for images of AEP Ohio’s electric vehicles and the electric-vehicle charging stations.




DOE Disclaimer

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-OE0000193. This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government.  Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.  Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.  The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.


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