Madison Gas and Electric has purchased six Couloumb ChargePoint charging stations from Carbon Day Automotive for us in the Chicago area.

The chargers will be available for use by drivers of electric and plug-in vehicles.  The project will provide energy and in return, all vehicles charged through the network will have their emissions offset through the production of renewable energy.  Offsetting emissions through the production of renewable energy is the first time this type of setup has seen use in the U.S.

The charging stations will be installed by Madison Gas beginning this summer and all systems should be in place by the start of next year.

Chicago will become one of only a handful of U.S. cities to use the networked system provided by Coulomb.  The ChargePoint system by Coulomb allows each unit to communicate with each other and to keep track of vehicles that are charged at each point.

Madison Gas and Electric Press Release:
MGE Plans Electric Vehicle Charging Network:  Project first in country
MADISON, Wis: BUSINESS WIRE--As part of several technology demonstration projects under study, Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) has purchased six Coulomb Technologies electric vehicle charging stations from Carbon Day Automotive, Chicago, Ill. Electric cars and trucks charged at the stations will have their emissions offset through renewable energy. The project is the first of its kind in the United States.

The vehicle charging network will provide users with options that extend the range and use of their electric vehicles. The driving range for an electric-powered vehicle can be about 40 miles. Currently, owners have to recharge their car or truck at home or at prearranged locations. Only a handful of public vehicle charging systems are in place throughout the world.

MGE plans to install the first charging unit this summer and have the network up and operating by early next year.

"MGE's forward-thinking efforts ensure the Madison area will have the infrastructure to support electric vehicles," stated Scott Emalfarb, a principal in Carbon Day Automotive.

Last year, MGE purchased one of the state's first plug-in hybrid cars. This summer, the company will install vehicle-to-grid technology in a new Ford Escape plug-in hybrid, making it "Smart Grid" ready. This technology allows the vehicle to recharge at low power demand times and can also be discharged to supply the grid with power during peak power demand hours.

"This demonstration project will show us how use of plug-in vehicles could eventually affect operations of the electric grid and power supply planning," said Lynn Hobbie, MGE senior vice president.

Carbon Day Automotive is a division of Carbon Day, an organization dedicated to increasing environmental awareness by encouraging people to play a part in saving the planet.

Coulomb Technologies applies networking technology to the challenge of charging electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in order to fuel the electric transportation industry. Coulomb's ChargePoint(SM) Network addresses the needs of drivers, utilities, governments and parking-space owners.

MGE generates and distributes electricity to 137,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 141,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy (Nasdaq: MGEE). The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.