eTec, a subsidiary of ECOtality, announced that it has finalized its agreement and signed a contract to receive a grant of $99.8 million from the  U.S. Department of Energy to kick off the largest deployment of EVs and their related infrastructure in U.S. history.

Officially called The Electric Vehicle Project, eTec aims to work with automakers, utility companies and others to bring EVs closer to mainstream adoption in the U.S.  The run down of some of the details of the agreement are quoted directly from eTEC and listed below.

-The final scope of work for The Electric Vehicle (EV) Project will include the deployment of 10,950 Level 2 (220V) chargers, 260 Level 3 fast-chargers and 4,700 Nissan LEAF zero-emission electric vehicles in five states: Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. In conjunction with the contract signing, The EV Project officially commenced on October 1, 2009-

Don Karner, president of eTec made a statement at the contract signing.  Karner said, "Today marks a significant day for America – with the contract officially in place with the U.S. Department of Energy, eTec can formally begin its work to implement the largest transportation electrification project in history.  We would like to thank the U.S. Department of Energy and the Obama Administration for investing in clean energy programs such as The EV Project. With the support of our Project partners, we look forward to a successful Project that will change the way America drives for the better."

In addition to signing the contract, eTec and ECOtality launched the official website of the EV Project.  You can find the site at  The site will offer information about the project and well as information about EVs and the charging infrastructure throughout the States including real time maps showing the locations of current charging stations.  Users will be able to suggest new areas for charging locations and will also be able to find information regarding purchasing a Nissan Leaf EV.

The grant was issued by the federal government because the EV Project will create new "green" jobs.  As Jonathan Read, President and CEO, ECOtality said "The EV Project will have a tremendous impact on the country by creating new jobs, bolstering America’s energy independence, and promoting clean electric transportation that will significantly reducing carbon emissions and protect our environment."

The overall goal of the EV Project is to determine how to make EVs functional and accesible to the general public.  The project aims to find out information regarding charging station locations, revenue systems for charger, and collect information about what buyer's desire in an EV.  The work is a collaborative effort aimed at building the infrastructure needed to support a future full of EVs.  By building the infrastructure, researching the demands of buyers and understanding the entire system, the project will pave the way to battery powered cars everywhere.

Source: eTec / ECOtality Press Release