Macy’s wires up for EVs

May 4, 2011 (Graeme Irvine, Editor – “Nissan is pleased to report that the first vessel carrying post earthquake-produced Nissan LEAFs is scheduled to arrive to U.S. shores April 27,” said Carlos Tavares, Chairman, Nissan Americas, at the keynote address of the New York International Auto Show.

As part of the agreement, Macy’s and ECOtality will identify six Macy’s store locations in the San Diego metropolitan area for the installation of two Blink Level 2 Commercial Pedestal Chargers outside each store. ECOtality will begin installing Blink charging stations at Macy’s store locations in Summer 2011.

Last week the two unrelated announcements above caught my attention. The United States, the most sceptical and media hostile nation adopting Electric Vehicles, is nevertheless relentlessly preparing for the arrival of EV in all its forms. Nissan, the strongest Japanese advocate of rechargeable battery electric vehicles is over the disruptions caused by the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan and back on track to market Nissan Leafs in America.

Of course without public places to recharge them, public uptake will be slow, so the announcement that Macy’s is joining in a pilot public recharging program at 6 stores in San Diego of great interest. Over the course of the next year, both ECOtality and Macy’s will gather practical experience and feedback at public recharging.  At first only the early adopters will be using Macy’s pilot program recharging facilities, but if EV succeeds, Macy’s operates 810 stores with another 41 branded as Bloomingdale’s. In addition, Macy’s employs roughly 161,000 employees, many of which in time will become owners of EV autos.  Looking ahead, Macy’s management (and management at other large chain stores,) can see another source of revenue arriving if it can get the recharging model right. There’s more than one way to keep the shareholder’s happy. Recharging fees offer Macy’s and others, the chance to develop a  new diverse profit source.

Nissan to accelerate U.S. Leaf deliveries; reservations reopen May 1

—-Beginning May 1, the Japanese automaker will reopen reservations for the Nissan Leaf, starting with the launch states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Individuals who have registered on Nissan’s Leaf reservation website will get first dibs to reserve a spot in line to buy the electric hatchback.
Nissan says that more markets will follow, with the Leaf becoming available to buyers in the southeastern U.S. (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina and Virginia) this fall and nationwide ordering set to commence in 2012.

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The Blink Network of charging stations provides all EV drivers the freedom to travel wherever they choose and charge at commercial locations conveniently identified along the way. EV drivers will be able to charge at any Blink station through a variety of options including interoperable RFID cards or fobs, smartphone applications, and mobile phone and credit card based payment options. Consumers may also yield even greater advantages of the Blink Network, such as discounted charging rates, reservation systems, and enhanced Blink Network capabilities by becoming Blink Members.
Meanwhile back across the Atlantic in slightly more EV friendly Europe, the world’s first international EV Cup racing series starts in August. The promoters will hold 4 races at different circuits in the UK with races to be announced in Spain, Portugal, with the final in the USA.


Experience the ultimate electric vehicles, leveraging their instant torque provided by electric motors and cutting-edge battery technologies, as they compete in the racing cup at the most challenging circuits

From our REE perspective, the switchover to EV motoring starts in earnest 2015 onwards, just 4 short years away. But will there be enough non Chinese REE supply to accommodate it?