CarCharging Grows By Thousands Of Percents, But Still Reports A Loss Of $24 Million in 2013

3 years ago by Mark Kane 17

Blink charging points

Blink charging points

Car Charging Group, Inc., which is a nationwide owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle charging services, in its latest financial report indicated huge growth in almost every area – all thanks to the acquisition of ECOtality together with Blink network (alongside 350Green, Beam Charging, and EVPass).

Just look at some of the highlights:

–      The installed base of charging stations grew from 157 to 14,031, which represents an increase of over 8,837%.

–      The net EV Charging service fees for the year grew nearly 1,860% from $16,743 to $327,971 with current monthly gross revenues of $95,797.

–      Monthly kilowatt-hour (kWh) charging output grew from 2,492 to 374,188, which represents an increase of 14,916%.

–      Inventory increased by over 3,745% with 2,423 EV charging stations held at the end of 2013 versus 63 at the end of 2012.

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

“2013 was an exceptional year for CarCharging. As a result of acquiring three EV charging service providers and the Blink Network, we were able to increase our EV charging locations, inventory, revenues, and resources.”

“We anticipate that 2014 will also provide major milestones for the company. Our participation in Nissan’s No Charge to Charge Program will help monetize the assets we developed organically or through acquisitions, our innovative mobile application, and our interoperability initiatives with Blink, GE, and SemaConnect, will vastly transform the accessibility of charging services for EV drivers.”

But then we looked at the Car Charging Group FORM 10-K and we saw an issue. More than $24 million in net losses. Ouch. Total revenues of $466,403 seems lows with all the cost, but who knows, maybe it will improve.

CarCharging 2013 Financial Results

CarCharging 2013 Financial Results

On the Car Charging Group website we see that nominal price is “Only $0.49 per KWh” or in some places “$2.00 – 2.99 per hour with a minimum of one hour required“. And Car Charging Group owns about 5,200 public Level 2 Blink stations with about hundred or so DC fast chargers (the previous number of 14,031 probably includes home EVSEs deployed by ECOtality).

“As a result of our acquisitions of four competitors, we currently have approximately 5,200 level 2 charging units and 105 DC Fast Charging EV Devices installed. As a result of recent partnerships with EV manufacturers, our network has broadened its offerings and includes units from numerous manufacturers, in addition to ChargePoint, whose charging units we have solely used in the past.”

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17 responses to "CarCharging Grows By Thousands Of Percents, But Still Reports A Loss Of $24 Million in 2013"

  1. Bloggin says:

    Driving an EV means the ability to charge/fuel at home at the lowest rates, no lines, no waiting.

    The garage is now the new ‘gas’ station…..

    If a commuter EV driver actually ‘needs’ to charge away from home on a regular basis, they clearly bought an EV with the wrong size battery.

    With the next gen EVs to offer 100+ to 200+ miles per charge, it’s no surprise that public charging is a loosing proposition.

    Public-charging is only viable for interstate travel and for EVs that offer 300+ mile range, with a less than 15 minute charge time……which don’t exist yet.

    1. Big Solar says:

      15 minutes seems like too much to ask for since this high current charging is tough on batteries. Maybe people can take their anxious hurry down a couple notches since they will be saving so much cash on gas.

      1. 15 minutes is actually a typical DCFC usage pattern:
        … for a Model S 15 min. provides ~80 miles (a couple days commuting, or boosting range to ~400 miles)
        … for a LEAF using CHAdeMO, a 15 min. charge provides an exta ~35-40 miles pushing range over 100 miles at highway speeds, or more miles for urban driving.

        As noted from LEAF and Model S stats, only 5-10% of charged miles require a range extending service.

        1. arne-nl says:

          I believe ‘Bloggin’ was talking about 15 min charge time from empty to full, not from a random SoC to another random SoC.

          That is a 4C rate. Chemistries exist that can handle that, but they are not common in EV’s since their energy density is generally lower.

    2. Phil Kulak says:

      Seems to me like having a large battery would make public charging _more_ reasonable. I could never own my Leaf if I lived in a condo or just a house closer in with no off-street parking. If it had 200 miles of range, I could totally do that. Lot’s of places around here have level-2 charging in their parking lots, so as long as I did something in one of those locations every 3-5 days my car would stay topped up. And worst case, I’d just do a quick charge.

    3. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

      +1000
      People really need to stop thinking of charging as an analog for filling up. It’s a different beast. CarCharging (and ChargePoint) are based on that analog notion which is why they are failing. Gassing up is a 5 minute operation. Simple fact is that even 15 minutes is too long if you are waiting. Think about how annoying it is to wait for a pump to free up at a gas station. The only reasonable charging occurs when you are doing something else – like sleeping, working or eating.

      As to the notion that longer range cars will increase the charging company’s business. That is just silly. I have had a Model S P85 (265 mile range) for 10 months now and have used superchargers several times (on road trips), blink twice (on road trips) and a 50 Amp outlet once for the parking space. I charge at home at night whilst sleeping and always have more range than I need.

      1. arne-nl says:

        I agree with your observation that charging a battery and filling a gas tank are different things. However:

        “Simple fact is that even 15 minutes is too long if you are waiting. Think about how annoying it is to wait for a pump to free up at a gas station”

        I’d like to add a bit of psychology there.

        First of all there is the matter of expectation. If you own an EV, you know what to expect and plan around it. When in need of a quick fill-up and finding the gas station clogged with other customers, is an unwelcome surprise, something unexpected that you have no control over. Knowing what to expect beforehand makes all the difference.

        Another simple aspect is that waiting for someone else is always harder than waiting for yourself.

        And lastly, waiting for nothing (=someone else to finish gassing up) is seen as a total waste fo time. It’s much easier waiting for something that is actually happening, like the charging of your car.

        1. BraveLilToaster says:

          Especially when you’re filling that time with emptying your bladder and grabbing a bite to eat. 15 minutes can go by pretty quickly.

  2. vadik_veselovsky says:

    The state should help them out since what they are doing is clearly in public interest, eg cheap credit etc.

    Much better than shoveling billions to save mega rich bankers’ skin.

  3. startup says:

    In Silicon Valley with all the hi tech startup companies, it is commonly said if you increase the pay for the company founders, the chance of company success goes down.

    The idea is that stock, not salary should the prime motivation.

    Which makes me wonder about the $11 million listed as “compensation”, and how much goes to the top few folks.

  4. Ocean Railroader says:

    What this really shows is there is no real money in level two chargers. In that I really think the future is Level 3 for people traveling long distances or even if they have to drive two to three times on a medium sized car trip. The fact they have less then a 100 DC fast chargers worries me when demand for DC fast chargers is quickly growing.If it were me I would put more of my money into DC fast chargers in that they can technically make most profit along with have the maximum number of paying cars go though them a day.

    The good news for this EV charging company is that the number of EV’s is steadily growing each month.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I think there is a market if they would charge less. Their prices are too high. But still, I agree the charging station costs make it hard to turn a profit without lots of use. And they won’t get lots of use at the rates they charge.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        Another thing I think is wrong with the Charging stations is they only can charge up one car at a time. I think you would need say three to six of them being used at the same time.

  5. ClarksonCote says:

    Counter-intuitive, but CCG would make more money if they charged a more reasonable fee to charge up.

    At their prices most people only charge if they would otherwise be stranded.

  6. EVFan#1 says:

    $11M for compensation??? WTF? Off of revenue of less than $500K for the year?? I’m sure that not much of that was on sales commissions, since all the growth was through acquisitions.

  7. arne-nl says:

    I’ll echo others’ sentiments that this is a very worrisome 10K filing. The fact of the matter is that L2 chargers are useless. You can not trust on them being available and working and not ICEd. And when the charger is occupied, the owner will have left his/her car and you can never know when they return. So you’ll need a plan B (another L2 charger nearby). And, you know, just in case…. a plan C too. So for L2 charging to work reliably and hassle free, you need to overbuild. But that increases capital expenditure and we already see that there is no business case for that.

    Imo fast charging stations in high-traffic locations with multiple bays are the only viable public charging solution. Because these stations have multiple charging bays, a single charger not working is not an acute problem (which can be solved quickly because there are few locations to service). Charging is not parking, so people stay around their car and the waiting time is limited. Finding a station occupied is no fun, it is no disaster either.

    Fastned is building such a network right now in the Netherlands. Yay!
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=36059&d=1384974584

    1. Dave R says:

      You need to overbuild for either L2 or QC stations for them to be effective, you just happen to notice it more because the L2 networks are generally oversubscribed more since every single plug-in can use them and as you note, more susceptible to people parking longer than required.

      30 minutes for a QC is long enough that people will generally go do something else while waiting, so it suffers from the same issues as L2 charging.

      What really needs to happen is that larger number of stations need to be built in fewer locations. They absolutely need to be built away from prime parking spots.

      The Erlang-B model is an interesting way to model efficiency/throughput of charging stations, which I first saw noted on the TMC forum: http://goo.gl/eiOcvN

      What you find is that having more stations at a location is way more efficient than having the same number of stations scattered about. So wherever possible, it’s better to install more stations at fewer locations if you are trying to build infrastructure that people can rely on.

      It’s no surprise that Tesla appears to be fully aware of this in their construction of SuperCharger stations where they install over 6 plugs per location on average.