SAN FRANCISCO - ECOtality Inc. announced an agreement to provide Blink electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at select U.S. stores of Best Buy Co. Inc. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Blink EV charging stations will be installed at 12 Best Buy stores in Tucson, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle. Charging stations at these stores, within pilot markets of the EV Project, will be installed by March 2011. 

"As the private sector will ultimately drive consumer electric vehicle adoption, our goal has been to establish a charging network that is conveniently placed in familiar places to meet consumers' needs. Aligning ourselves with major retailers is a key part of achieving that goal," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality Inc. "Blink is about charging where you live, work and play -- it's about making the electric vehicle lifestyle fit the lifestyle of drivers nationwide."

Based in San Francisco, ECOtality North America is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies.

ECOtality will initially install Blink chargers at 12 strategic Best Buy locations as part of the pilot program. Throughout the experiment, ECOtality will analyze real-world experiences of EV users to continually develop best practices for creating EV infrastructure in a variety of regions. 

Based upon the findings of the pilot program, ECOtality and Best Buy may expand the installation of Blink charging stations to include other store locations. The deployment of these charging systems will take into consideration geographic location, distance to major interstates and transportation routes, distance to other EV Project charging facilities and population density. 

"We are excited to announce our partnership with Best Buy to host Blink commercial electric vehicle charging stations as part of the EV Project and believe these locations will be an ideal destination spot for consumers purchasing electric vehicles," said Don Karner, president of ECOtality North America. "We are eager to work with a forward-thinking company like Best Buy to better understand the true business case and value of offering commercial EV charging access to their customers. Together, we will work to grow our network of commercial chargers and speed the adoption of electric vehicles."