Campbell, Calif.-based Coulomb Technologies Inc. Thursday unveiled its first public electric vehicle charging station at NextEnergy, the state’s renewable energy industry accelerator, at 461 Burroughs St. in Detroit.

Coulomb is installing hundreds of free ChargePoint America stations across the country in a $37 million installation program made possible by a $15 million federal stimulus grant.

The company said it also has plans for ChargePoint stations in Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Coulomb says it’s working with Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Smart USA, all of whom have announced plans to introduce EVs in southern Michigan in the coming months.

Installation of the ChargePoint station was done by Coulomb distributor Shocking Solutions LLC of Roseville.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., noted that “thanks to strong private-public partnerships, Michigan companies are creating jobs and leading the country in the development of electric vehicles and the advanced batteries that power them,” and added that Coulomb “will make it easier for drivers to charge their electric vehicles as we continue to build these new vehicles here in Michigan.”

Added Richard Lowenthal, Coulomb CEO: “Michigan is the home of U.S. automobile manufacturing, including the next generation of transportation, electric vehicles. Intelligent networked infrastructure will welcome the introduction of these vehicles.”

And NextEnergy CEO Ronald Gardhouse said that “In partnering with the ChargePoint America program, we will be able to accelerate the validation and acceptance of infrastructure critical to the successful introduction and launch of electric vehicles.”

Coulomb’s ChargePoint America program will provide nearly 5,000 charging stations in nine regions in the United States: Austin, Texas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Fla., Sacramento, Calif., the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Bellevue/Redmond, Wash., and Washington D.C.

Installation of the ChargePoint charging stations is under way now in all nine regions.

ChargePoint America will offer both public and home charging stations to individuals and businesses. The units recharge EVs in about four hours.

Businesses interested in receiving free public charging stations should visit and sign up by completing the application form.

Individuals interested in purchasing an EV should sign up to receive more information about qualifying for a free home charging station.

Additionally, the ChargePoint America Web site provides a way for drivers to suggest public locations for charging stations.

Coulomb’s ChargePoint Network is open to all drivers of plug-in vehicles and provides authentication, management and real-time control for the networked electric vehicle charging stations. ChargePoint Network’s unique features include:

* Notification of charging status by text message or e-mail
* Location maps of unoccupied charging stations accessible on smartphones
* A ChargePoint iPhone app
* Safe, authorized energizing
* A billing system for station owners who want drivers to pay for the electricity they use to charge their vehicles
* Smart Grid integration for utility load management.

More at

(And by the way — a coulomb is a unit of electric charge, named after 18th and early 19th century French electric researcher Charles-Augustin de Coulomb. So now you know.)

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

  1. Al Hall says:

    No where in the article does it say how long it takes to re-charge one car’s batteries. It’s my understnding it’s somewhere around 4 hours…even with the special charging system. Otherwise it’s 12 hours plugging into your own 110.

  2. Stuart Irwin says:

    The Department of Energy is paying for all this “free” stuff. I find it difficult to understand why I would pay a subscription service to use this Chargepoint EV Charge station when my tax dollars have already paid for it.

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