Car Charging Group Is Now US’ Largest Charging Services Company With Over 13,430 Points

4 years ago by Mark Kane 17

ECOtality charging stations

ECOtality charging stations

As Part Of The Deal 110 Blink DC Fast Chargers Now Will Belong To CarCharging - as well as the remaining 191 in inventory

As Part Of The Deal, 110 Blink DC Fast Chargers Now Will Belong To CarCharging – as well as the remaining 191 in inventory

Car Charging Group does not hide the fact that it’s delighted to have acquired ECOtality’s assets that originally cost approximately $230 million for just a fraction of that price.

CarCharging’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael D. Farkas stated:

“We are delighted to have completed the Blink transaction and to acquire assets that originally cost approximately $230 million for only $3.335 million. CarCharging has always been committed to supporting the electric car industry and by adding Blink and all of its assets to our network of EV charging stations, we can continue our efforts to further accelerate the adoption of EVs nationwide.”

$230 million comes from federal stimulus grant of $114.8 million in The EV Project that were matched by private investment, but now CarCharging must finish the job:

The Company will now work with the U.S. Department of Energy (the “DoE”) to develop a plan to complete “The EV Project”, for which ECOtality had previously served as the project manager.  The project is funded by the DoE through a federal stimulus grant of $114,800,000, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”).  The grant was matched by private investment, bringing the total value of the project to approximately $230,000,000.  ECOtality oversaw the installation of approximately 12,700 commercial and residential Blink charging stations in 16 cities and major metropolitan areas in six states, as well as in the District of Columbia.”

For CarCharging, this is its fourth acquisition in 2013 after 350Green, Beam Charging and EVPass.

After the acquisition of more than 12,450 installed Level II charging stations and 110 installed DC fast chargers, CarCharging now has more than 13,430 charging points, which mean it grow over 13 times its former size in 2013.

The second largest nationwide provider in the US is ChargePoint, which doesn’t own all points in ChargePoint Network, but still has 13,707 points (mainly AC Level II).

But there is something interesting. Can you believe that ECOtality had in its inventory another 2,800 stations with almost 200 CHAdeMO chargers waiting for installation?

“The Blink Assets include all of Blink’s charging station inventory of 2746 Level II and 191 DC fast charging stations, as well as over 12,750 installed charging stations.  Blink Acquisition will also assume all Blink-related Intellectual Property, consisting of but not limited to, registered trademarks and patents in the United States and abroad.”

If these 191 additional chargers become operational, together CarCharging will soon have 301 DC Blink chargers, including the 48 bought earlier this year in cooperation with Nissan and probably a few dozen in the 350Green acquisition. This mean that CarCharging will be largest provider of DC fast charging, at last for the CHAdeMO standard.

Now, CarCharging wants to focus on three things:

  • “Develop relationships with Blink’s partners and customers.”
  • “Work with Blink’s residential and commercial EV charging stations to rectify any outstanding maintenance issues.  Blink customers should continue to and utilize Blink’s website blinknetwork.com and mobile application to locate stations and to obtain assistance; however, CarCharging is interested in feedback from customers and requests that comments be directed to support@blinknetwork.com.”
  • “Integrate EV charging stations from other EV charging service equipment (EVSE) manufacturers into the Blink network and launch a solution that offers true interoperability of EV charging networks in order to streamline the charging and payment process for EV drivers.”

Tags: , , , ,

17 responses to "Car Charging Group Is Now US’ Largest Charging Services Company With Over 13,430 Points"

  1. KenZ says:

    Well, if they actually pull off 1, 2, and 3, they should do well. However, from the comments I’ve heard, fixing #2 is a tall order.

  2. David Murray says:

    Every time a blink station fails, they should just rip it out and replace it with something more reliable. It would probably save them a lot of money in the long-run.

  3. ClarksonCote says:

    If they got these at such a good deal, you’d think Car Charging Group could reduce the rates they charge.

    At $2.40 per hour, that’s the equivalent of $9.00 gasoline. Too expensive for most people to use the stations unless absolutely necessary.

    1. Nate says:

      $2.40 an hour yikes. The couple times I’ve used a blink station it was a dollar/hour.

    2. QueenBee says:

      If that’s too expensive then please just your “drive your Prius” and leave the EVSEs/chargers open to those who would prefer to pay more to drive electric and want to avoid gasoline.

      They need to charge an amount that will be able to sustain operations.

      1. Brian says:

        More like “just use the range extender”.

        The problem is, these EVSEs go almost completely unused. CarCharging Group would make more money by lowering the price so more people use them!

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        As Brian notes, the current price is really not meeting the supply/demand curve here.

        If they lower the price to $1/hour (a 58% decrease in fees) I would be willing to bet they would have a 100% to 500% increase in usage.

        It’s a math problem involving fixed costs (infrastructure, salaries, electricity base charges) and variable costs (supply price per kWh). I’d be willing to bet that a price decrease would result in much more revenue in 6 months time at said rates.

  4. scott moore says:

    Yea, my bid for $14.95 and a used candy wrapper wasn’t accepted. Too bad, but the costs to run those chargers would have really killed me.

  5. Dave R says:

    1. Misleading to count all the residential stations installed as part of the EV Project. Those will be owned by the resident in a few months.
    2. Blink stations (both L2 and DCQC) are generally very unreliable. In my area, there are quite a few locations which are completely in-operational.
    3. Their #1 priority should be servicing and repairing stations to get inoperable units back on-line and operational.

    CarChargingGroup has a steep road ahead of them in making these work and deciding whether to rip out the Blink stations in favor of something else, or to try to finally sort out their reliability issues. Perhaps a combination of both. My personal Blink station at home has been very reliable. But my experience with public Blink stations is that very frequently there are problems with screen calibration, unresponsive screens, RFID card issues, or stations simply turned off. Luckily in those instances where that was an issue, there was an adjacent station that was functional, but the experience leaves me very hesitant to rely on them.

    The whole REMA plug issues at at 30A charge rates is a big issue, too. If they have to replace a bunch of plugs on their own dime – it might very well make sense to swap out the units entirely.

    1. QueenBee says:

      Dave, yep, it really angers me that they think they own my EVSE or that my EVSE is part of some “network”. The title to my Blink EVSE transferred a long time ago so they certainly no longer own it.

  6. kdawg says:

    From the article:
    “CarCharging now has more than 13,430 charging points.”
    “ChargePoint Network, but still has 13,707 points ”
    “The second largest nationwide provider in the US is ChargePoint”

    Isn’t 13,707 > 13,430?

    From ChargePoint’s website:
    At ChargePoint, we believe that EVs are the future. But why wait? We didn’t—we built the world’s largest and most open online network of EV charging stations, now operating in more than a dozen countries.

    1. Mark Kane says:

      Part of ChargePoint Network charging points belongs to CarCharging.

  7. ChargePoint is offering big discounts for existing Blink customers that want to switch. They even made an adapter plate so the base anchor bolts bolt right from the Blink station to the new ChargePoint station with no drilling or concrete work necessary. Just four bolts and connect a couple wires. ChargePoint equipment is much more robust than Blink units. I have one of each in my parking lot and the ChargePoint is always working while the Blink is frequently “on the blink”. I’ll be taking advantage of the discount and switching to a new ChargePoint soon.

    1. vdiv says:

      Tom,

      Have you considered getting a SemaConnect ChargePro station? Since they do not lock the J1772 plug they seem to be more reliable.

      1. kdawg says:

        I’ve never had any problems w/Chargepoint stations. They also feel more solid than the Blink ones (if that means anything). I have noticed a couple Blink stations that were sitting there dead. Not sure why (if failure or owner turned them off)

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          I’ve seen a couple problems, due mostly to stupid installation planning.

          As an example, there are 3 ChargePoint stations near me in an underground parking garage that don’t work. Why you ask? Because there is no cellphone service there, so the stations are unable to be activated or accept payments.

          What a waste.

  8. EV Safety says:

    So can someone explain to me what carcharging group can do different than EcOtality? There is still an overwhelming black cloud, the lack of a safety program for the EVSE program. I find it funny to hear people say that the charging stations do not need a safety program. When one of their relatives gets injured, they will be the first one to file a lawsuit and try to bring down the industry.
    Its a damn shame some fire fighters have never seen a station and would not be able to indentify one if their life depended on it. There are so many station being installed without a inspection program or a safety program in place to protect the general public.
    EcOtality has left some 12000 faulty overheating charging stations and there are some stations with cheap chinese parts that have failed and whats even worse the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY has played a major roll in keeping major reports out of the media. The DOE does not care if someone gets hurt or killed…..they are worried about making sure these stations are put in at every cost.
    You, you and You…..had better wake up and smell the coffee and understand these stations will begin to result in injury or death if safety is not placed as a priortiy.
    I am a stakeholder in this program and I would like to see it be successful ……But, I would like to see some kind of safety and inspection program in place before its too late…..
    In Florida, THere are known reports of failure and poorly place charging stations and no safety plan. Some stations have been installed without the proper guidelines….whos going to know? The state has no inspection program after a station is installed and they do not have a plan in place or the manpower to do foillow up inspections.
    Vandalism, Theft and Collission have already happened and reports are kept quiet.
    We want this program to be successful,,,,,with safety in place…..Please demand your local firefighters have been properly trained.