eTec’s Karner a Guest of the First Lady
In his State of the Union address tonight President Barack Obama honored Arizona-based ECOtality, Inc. (OTCBB: ETLE), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, eTec, with a reference to the companies and to the vital role they play in job growth and in renewing the national economy.
President Obama said, “The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. That’s right – the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill. Economists on the left and the right say that this bill has helped saved jobs and avert disaster. But you don’t have to take their word for it. Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its work force because of the Recovery Act.”
That Phoenix business, mentioned by President Obama, is ECOtality’s subsidiary eTec. The company is the project manager for The EV Project, and, with its 40+ project partners, will oversee the largest-ever rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure in the United States. Last fall, the US Department of Energy – through the Recovery Act – awarded nearly $100 million to create that infrastructure, support renewable energy and most importantly, to create jobs.
Jonathan R. Read, CEO of ECOtality said, “The President’s acknowledgment of our company is a strong vote of confidence for the transformative work we are doing, and a tribute to all our employees who have participated in making us a cutting-edge force in this emerging electric-vehicle industry.”
The EV Project will deploy 4,700 zero-emissions electric vehicles and will establish approximately 11,210 electric vehicle charging stations in home-base, commercial and public locations to support the public adoption of plug-in vehicles in major markets in five states: Arizona (Phoenix & Tucson metropolitan areas), Washington (Seattle area), Oregon (Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene), California (San Diego) and Tennessee (Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville).
Although The EV Project is only a few months old, it is already responsible for the creation of 15 new jobs in 2009, with another 27 anticipated in 2010. Work to expand eTec’s facility in Phoenix injected cash into the local economy and kept another nearly 50 people employed through the contractors involved in the construction. An estimated 750 jobs are likely to be created over the life and scope of the project.
eTec President & CEO Don Karner attended the speech tonight in the House of Representatives chamber as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama. (For a complete list of the First Lady’s guests, please click here.)
Karner said, “It is hard to find the words to describe how honored and privileged I am to be here. The work we are doing with our partners on The EV Project is critically important because it will inform the way electric vehicle infrastructure is established in the United States and around the world.”
Read said, “Under Don’s guidance, eTec has been the leader of this business for more than two decades, and those of us in the ECOtality organization are incredibly proud tonight.” He added, “The President remarked that he has never been more hopeful about the future of the United States than he is now. We share that hope and that optimism, and are deeply grateful for Administration’s confidence in us and in our partners in The EV Project.”