Energy Secretary Chu Recognizes ECOtality/eTec for Electric Vehicles Progress

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today recognized ECOtality, Inc. (OTCBB: ETLE), and its wholly owned subsidiary, eTec (Electric Engineering Transportation Corporation), for the company’s work toward establishing robust electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the United States. Secretary Chu made his remarks at the Washington Auto Show in Washington, D.C. today during a news conference to announce financing that will enhance U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing.

“eTec is working on the largest EV infrastructure deployment in the world, and we are working very closely to get EVs on the road,” said Secretary Chu. “We need charging stations and infrastructure – it is very important.“

Secretary Chu announced that the Department of Energy has closed a $1.4 billion loan agreement with Nissan North America, Inc. The loan will support the modification of Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce the Nissan LEAF, a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle, and the lithium-ion battery packs to power them.

In August 2009, ECOtality’s subsidiary, eTec, was awarded a federal stimulus grant of nearly $100 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The grant is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), with the goal of creating thousands of new jobs, preserving existing jobs and jump-starting the economy.

The $100 million DOE grant is facilitating The EV Project, the largest rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure in the United States. With a match from project partners, The EV Project has a total value of more than $200 million, and will support electric vehicles with home-base, commercial and public chargers in major markets in five states: Arizona (Phoenix & Tucson areas), Washington (Seattle area), Oregon (Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene), California (San Diego) and Tennessee.

eTec President and CEO Don Karner attended the announcement as a guest of Secretary Chu. Karner said, “The EV Project is paving the way for widespread acceptance of electric vehicles, and we are proud to be working with the Department of Energy to achieve the goal to create jobs and end our dependence on foreign oil.”

ECOtality, Inc. (OTCBB:ETLE), headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., 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.