I missed the announcement of ABB’s investment in ECOtality last week but it points to the rapidly growing focus on EVs and charging networks. Gigaom also put together the latest round of charging network deals with this paragraph:
“The deal is the most recent in a series of partnerships on the plug-in vehicle charging front between large power companies and smaller players. General Electric, for example, has tapped smart charging software startup Juice Technologies for its WattStation charging system, and has more recently formed a multi-faceted relationship with battery-swapping startup Better Place. German engineering giant Siemens has a co-marketing deal with Coulomb Technologies to sell Siemens’ smart grid IT along with Coulomb’s charging station technology.”
Gigaom today points out the coming battle for adding the connected piece of the connected car: “The phone companies and the car makers will also have a battle on their hands when it comes to the in-car connection — or how the driver accesses connected infotainment services (from directions to news to music). Car companies want to attract drivers to an added vehicle-embedded services, like GM’s OnStar, while phone companies will want to center of the connected service to come from the phone itself, while the car is just the dock for the phone. Expect this relationship to get interesting in 2011.”
From the ABB press release:
“ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has invested $10 million in San Francisco-based ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technologies company, to enter North America’s electric vehicle (EV) charging market and provide ECOtality with a strong global ally in power delivery systems.
“The partnership brings together ABB’s experience in smart grids, renewable energy and reliable, efficient power networks, with ECOtality’s leadership in North America’s growing market for electric vehicle infrastructure,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB Marketing and Customer Solutions. “It is an ideal combination of skills that will provide the solutions customers are seeking to enable sustainable mobility while maintaining grid reliability.”
A very nice review of the Detroit car show and EVs is here: