By DANNY KING November 4, 2011
ECOtality, which was recently awarded the largest of the $175 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grants to be used to further develop vehicle technology aimed at boosting light-duty vehicle fuel economy, almost tripled its third-quarter revenue from a year earlier on a jump in electric-vehicle charging station installations. San Francisco-based ECOtality boosted third-quarter revenue to $9.5 million from $3.2 million a year earlier, though the company’s net loss widened 6.3 percent to $3.4 million on higher costs.
The jump in sales reflects the expansion of the EV Project, which was launched by the DOE in 2009 for the deployment of about 14,000 of ECOtality’s Blink-branded public and residential EV chargers across 18 metropolitan areas. ECOtality was awarded a $99.8 million for the project in 2009, and the DOE last year added $15 million to that project. ECOtality, which has installed about 4,400 charging stations, said third-quarter revenue from the EV Project jumped to $6.8 million from $3.1 million during the second quarter. “Looking forward, we will continue to execute and solidify our standing as the leader in the electric transportation infrastructure market,” ECOtality CEO Jonathan Read said in a statement Wednesday. “Our primary focus continues to be on rapidly expanding the national roll-out of our Blink charging network in an effort to increase revenue, gross margin and overall profitability by leveraging our growing network.”
In August, the DOE said it awarded $26.4 million to ECOtality’s eTec division, whose project will test early production light- and heavy-duty vehicles using a variety of propulsion systems and fuels. In all, the DOE awarded $175 million in grants to various automakers, battery makers and other entities. The following month, ECOtality said it would install approximately 200 electric-vehicle charging stations in and around Houston, the fourth-largest U.S. city. And last month, ECOtality said its Blink DC Fast Charge system received certification from product-safety testing body Underwriters Laboratories. The fast-charging system can recharge an electric vehicle in as little as 30 minutes.