ChargePoint Drops Out Of EZ-Charge – Puts Nissan’s “No Charge To Charge” For LEAF In Jeopardy

3 years ago by Mark Kane 15

ChargePoint Stations Have Passed 100 Mile Miles Worth Of Gas Free Driving (Sidenote: amazing what some fresh venture capital money does for the featured charging vehicle!)

ChargePoint Stations Have Passed 100 Mile Miles Worth Of Gas Free Driving

ChargePoint Network

ChargePoint Network

How sweet would it be to have an EZ-Charge access card for nearly every charging point across U.S.?

Well, it seems that even Nissan’s “No Charge To Charge” initiative is not strong enough to bind all operators  to one common goal.

SFGate.com published an excellent article on ChargePoint pulling the plug from the alliance with NRG eVgo (and the Blink Network and AeroVironment), because NRG eVgo as the EZ-Charge operator would benefit the most and gain access to the database onChargePoint Network users.

ChargePoint is operating the largest network with over 17,000 charging points and of course will not open itself to losing its competitive advantage.

“The promotion gives Leaf drivers two years of free access to charging stations run by multiple companies, with drivers using a single EZ-Charge card to plug into any station. But ChargePoint on Tuesday accused one of the other participating networks – NRG eVgo – of using the program to gain information on ChargePoint’s customers.

“They want to monopolize the relationship with the driver,” said ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano. “I think this is their attempt to gain some relevance in the market.”

NRG eVgo will launch the EZ-Charge as planed in July in first 10 markets, with or without ChargePoint.  Company spokesman David Knox told SFGate:

“Our news that they’re dropping out has come through you.”

Nissan stated that its “No Charge To Charge” promotion of two years of free charging via EZ-Charge card will continue, but of course the automaker isn’t happy:

We are disappointed that ChargePoint has decided to withdraw from EZ-Charge.  We remain confident that the three EZ-Charge partners – NRG eVgo, Blink Network and AeroVironment – provide excellent market coverage.”

SFGate.com notices also that ChargePoint wasn’t able to successfully launch a single platform with ECOtality. Both companies formed the joint venture Collaboratev, but ECOtality went bankrupt and then smaller operators “declined to sign up for Collaboratev“.

So, it seems that EV owners will need separate registrations and access cards for ChargePoint and EZ-Charge alliance (NRG eVgo, Blink Network and AeroVironment).

The problem for ChargePoint is described by SFGate as follows:

“Romano said he’s eager to continue working with Nissan. Both ChargePoint and Nissan, he said, are committed to interoperability. But that goal has to be achieved on terms his company can endorse.

“The first thing I care about at the end of the day, here, is the poor Leaf driver,” he said. “We want that Leaf driver to be successful in accessing chargers.”

Romano said the website for the EZ-Charge program would be run by eVgo, and would gather customers’ personal data, even if they wanted to sign up with ChargePoint or one of the other companies participating in the program. In addition, the customer-assistance phone number on the back of the EZ-Charge cards would funnel all callers to eVgo, regardless of whose chargers they used.”

“You can’t have a single network provider that tries to dictate the terms,” Romano said.

SFGate reports that NRG eVgo responded with the following:

“Knox said that while the website will gather customer data, the agreement among the EZ-Charge partners stipulates that the data can only be used by the company that a customer chooses to work with.”

“Meanwhile, the customer service number on the back of the EZ-Charge cards will connect to a single call center, which can then route calls to the appropriate company within the partnership. ChargePoint, Knox said, wanted the card to have a separate number for each partner.”

“That’s just not a good customer experience,” Knox said. “We thought we’d all agreed that the best practice was to have one number.”

Source: SFGate.com

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15 responses to "ChargePoint Drops Out Of EZ-Charge – Puts Nissan’s “No Charge To Charge” For LEAF In Jeopardy"

  1. ggpa says:

    Chargepoint is excellent at raising money and promoting themselves.

    From time to time information leaks out that makes me question how well it is managed and what they are trying to achieve.

    Thanks for reporting this

  2. Brian says:

    If this is true, it seems a rather immature way to handle the situation. Rather than work for a common solution to what will undoubtedly lead to a steady stream of new customers, they just turn their back on the whole thing.

    1. Anon says:

      Sounds like everyone rushed into something without fully vetting out the details…

      I can understand not wanting to “give away” your client list directly to a competitor, but wouldn’t a third party call center solve that issue?

  3. kdawg says:

    Why doesn’t Nissan just buy the owners a Chargepoint card with $50 on it (or whatever)?

    1. Brian says:

      That defeats the purpose of “one card to charge”, but it does seem like it would still be possible for Nissan to work out a deal wherein they get billed for the first N months of the card.

    2. alain says:

      your right ,we charge so little away from home anyways .it the stupiest promotion ,electric cars are so cheap to run in the fist place!

      1. Alan Larson says:

        My energy costs per mile are slightly lower for my VW Diesel than they are for my Leaf with home charging.

        Also, it looks like CP was willing to share data and participate in EZ-Charge card, but they were not willing to participate in “No Charge to Charge.” Their participation is only for pay to use.

  4. Kevin Trenton says:

    what the??

  5. Lou says:

    This should be workable, there should be a solution. All parties have a common goal: to make EV driving affordable, convenient and charging acess widespread and easy. I do understand that the loose ends may seem tribial to an outsider, that they need to be cleaned up. However, ChargePoint may get backlash that they are not anticipating. All parties to this “almost” agreement have to put aside their differences and find the common areas that they agree on. Customer ID and privacy issues are absolutely valid and should be protected. From what I have seen, CP should pick up the phone or get together with the other parties. Maybe Nissan can mediate(I am sure thay tried)and monitor so that this can be a successful consortium. Without it, the job of selling the LEAF is harder. And I am certain that if Nissan were to get this done for their owners, others would either join the group or form their own, similar groups. We need these. By the way, I drive an I-MiEV, so I have no axe to grind one way or another. I say get back to the conference room and work this out. It really is THAT important. Good luck.
    Lou

  6. Ellison says:

    People have to remember NRG/Evgo came from a mandate by the CA Public utility commission as a fine for overcharging Californians for energy and leading to brownouts.

    Evgo still gets to overcharge us and have a virtual monopoly on quick chargers. This and all of the federal funds leading to expensive chargers is what’s wrong.

    Chargepoint fees can also be as high as gasoline prices often.

  7. Dennis says:

    Nissan shouldn’t be surprised, they can’t even get their own dealers to cooperate with EV charging.

    1. Anon says:

      So tired of fighting the dealers. Just… so… tired.

  8. CherylG says:

    What a mess.

    As it is now I can’t get status of ChargePoint availability status thru PlugShare, so I have to check multiple sites to find open charging spots. That doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon.

    Then you have Tesla with their walled garden, Nissan with the DC standard they’re pushing SAE going a different direction…..what a cluster.

    At least fuel cell vehicles have a common filling standard, rapid fill times and long range.

    Meanwhile the EV charging industry can’t even agree on simple info sharing to benefit the consumer. Pathetic.

  9. Morty says:

    Interesting since the vast majority of QC at Nissan Dealers are now being switched to ChargePoint. Case in point the QC at Metro Nissan in Redlands was down for a month while the switch to ChargePoint and has a $10.00 per session fee?? The whole QC deployment by Nissan is a joke!

  10. Marc says:

    I have to say, I’ve been very disappointed with the Evgo service for many reasons:

    1. Very few charging stations
    2. No online account management
    3. No mobile app
    4. Only one key card per account
    5. Online application to convert trial to monthly flex plan never went anywhere
    6. Called to sign up for monthly flex plan, got charged twice for the setup fee
    7. Tried to get the second charge reverted, still don’t have my refund a month
    8. Key card I used during trial doesn’t work with flex plan even though I specified unique ID several times

    At least ChargePoint has all that figured out!