The North American footprint of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) will be
“significantly expanded” through an agreement between the Eaton Corp. and Coulomb Technologies, according to an announcement. Eaton’s Level II and DC quick charging Pow-R-Station charging stations can now connect to Coulomb’s ChargePoint Network, the largest network of independently owned charging stations in the world.

“Eaton is a leader in the creation of the public EV charging station network in North America, which will set the stage for widespread regional adoption of EVs and serve as a global model of sustainable transportation,” said Tom Schafer, vice president and general manager, Eaton’s Commercial Distribution Products Division. “This collaboration with ChargePoint Network is a critical step to linking vehicles into the utility grid, offering multiple benefits to EV and charging station owners and consumers, including lower fuel costs, a higher return on investment and reduction of greenhouse gases.”

Eaton Pow-R-Station charging stations, which can charge a depleted EV in three to four hours, will now have the capability to access all the functionality of the ChargePoint Network and ChargePoint service plans, including a centralized management infrastructure to set up services; automated billing and transaction payment processing; 24/7 driver support; and driver services that show real-time station availability. ChargePoint Network is the largest and fastest-growing EV charging services network, whose independent station owners dispense more electric fuel than those on any other charging network in the world, according to the press release.

“This is a significant announcement for Coulomb as we welcome Eaton to the ChargePoint Network family,” said Pat Romano, president & CEO of Coulomb. “This collaboration highlights the success of our OnRamp program that has allowed us to work with Eaton to rapidly enable the family of Pow-R-Stations to work with ChargePoint Network. We are also particularly pleased to have the first DC stations available on the network.”

ChargePoint-enabled Eaton stations will be included on all ChargePoint mobile phone applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. These ChargePoint mobile apps provide an easy way to locate stations near any specified address, get turn-by-turn directions, and even start and stop a charging session directly from a smart phone. Additionally, these apps allow drivers to utilize ChargePoint Network’s station reservation feature. Drivers can locate reservable stations, and then make, view and cancel a reservation time slot directly from a smart phone.

“Eaton’s century of excellence in electrical power distribution gives us leading expertise to build a safe and reliable infrastructure that supports the use of electric vehicles. Our wide network of engineers provides the capabilities for auditing, implementing, monitoring, maintaining and supporting charging stations and networks,” said Schafer.

Eaton currently deploys a range of charging stations in Ontario (Canada), Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana and Illinois. Coulomb’s ChargePoint Network is the largest online global charging network connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. Coulomb also provides ChargePoint Network service plans and cloud-based solutions that handle all drivers billing and support.

The two companies plan to showcase electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) at the Consumer Electronics Show this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, in the North Hall at Booth #6432.

Pricing and availability for Eaton’s range of ChargePoint-enabled charging solutions will be released in the first quarter of 2012.