EVgo Gets Major Investment From Vision Ridge Partners

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 21

NRG EVgo

NRG EVgo

NRG EVgo - CHAdeMO and Combo chargers

NRG EVgo – CHAdeMO and Combo chargers

EVgo announced that it just received a major investment from Vision Ridge Partners, a climate action-oriented investment firm.

The investment will assist the nation’s leading public fast charging network provider with expanding its infrastructure even further.

Reuben Munger, Managing Director of Vision Ridge, stated:

“EVgo has the infrastructure and vision to make electric vehicles a mainstream form of transportation. More and more consumers recognize that electric vehicles are not only better for the environment, but also fun to drive, reliable, and better for their wallets. Under our partnership, we will work to build a comprehensive, consistent, and dependable national charging network, so that EVgo can accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles in the U.S.”

EVgo currently operates a network of 665 fast chargers in 50 metro ares across the U.S. The investment from Vision Ridge, expected less than $100 million, will add to that network, but no firm numbers on additional chargers were released.

Arun Banskota, President of EVgo, commented:

“NRG is proud of the leadership that EVgo has established under our guidance.As NRG looked at potential partners and investors for EVgo, it was important for us to align our business with a firm that is focused on building and investing in a sustainable energy future. We are confident that Vision Ridge will provide the added resources and specific expertise to take EVgo to the next level in sustainable transportation.”

Full press release on the investment by Vision Ridge Partners is posted below:

Vision Ridge Partners Makes Major Investment in EVgo, Nation’s Leading Electric Vehicle Charging Network

Investment Will Expand EVgo’s Market-Leading Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure to Even More of the U.S.

BOULDER, Colo. Vision Ridge Partners, a climate action-oriented investment firm, announced today that it will be making a major investment in EVgo, the nation’s leading public fast charging network for electric vehicles. The investment will allow EVgo to expand its charging network even further to accelerate and support the widespread deployment of electric vehicles.

“EVgo has the infrastructure and vision to make electric vehicles a mainstream form of transportation,” said Reuben Munger, Managing Director of Vision Ridge. “More and more consumers recognize that electric vehicles are not only better for the environment, but also fun to drive, reliable, and better for their wallets. Under our partnership, we will work to build a comprehensive, consistent, and dependable national charging network, so that EVgo can accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles in the U.S.”

EVgo currently operates 665 fast chargers in more than 50 top metro markets across the country. Vision Ridge’s new capital, in conjunction with NRG’s continued commitments under the California settlement, positions EVgo with more than $100 million of infrastructure funding to expand beyond its industry-leading metro area fast charging solutions. The expanded EVgo network will use the latest technology to give drivers fast charging options across the nation, eliminating any range concerns. EVgo Stations are equipped to charge any electric vehicle on the road today and can deliver a nearly full charge to most vehicles in less than 30 minutes.

“NRG is proud of the leadership that EVgo has established under our guidance,” said Arun Banskota, President of EVgo. “As NRG looked at potential partners and investors for EVgo, it was important for us to align our business with a firm that is focused on building and investing in a sustainable energy future. We are confident that Vision Ridge will provide the added resources and specific expertise to take EVgo to the next level in sustainable transportation.”

Since its development, EVgo has worked closely with automakers like Nissan, BMW, and Ford to develop a vehicle-centric customer experience. These partnerships have brought customers faster charging speeds and more charging locations, supporting both traditional car ownership as well as new transportation models, like ride-sharing, that are shaping the ways people choose to travel. The improved charging infrastructure made possible by today’s investment paves the way for more drivers to purchase and use electric vehicles nationwide.

Vision Ridge is investing in EVgo through its Sustainable Asset Fund, which is one of the largest private portfolios focused on late-stage sustainable technology in the industry. Today’s announcement strengthens Vision Ridge’s leadership in building the future of transportation, advancing electric vehicle adoption, and demonstrating that sustainable projects can deliver impressive financial returns while preventing further impacts from climate change.

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21 responses to "EVgo Gets Major Investment From Vision Ridge Partners"

  1. stimpacker says:

    What’s the point of a single (maybe dual at best) station at Whole Foods market or in the middle of town? That doesn’t enable inter-city BEV travel.

    The business model is also flawed. In 30mins I get enough charge to travel 60 miles. So that’s about 2 gallons of gas. Cost = $10.00. Who in their right mind would pay $10 for 2 gallons of gas that takes 30 mins to pump?

    Doomed to failure once BMW and Nissan pull/end their free-to-charge program.

    1. David Murray says:

      You’re paying for the convenience, not the electricity. Just like when people buy food from a gas station. Seriously, have you seen the prices compared to a real grocery store?

      1. Elroy says:

        Why do people have to pay so much more for convenience when driving an electric car with less than a 100 miles of range makes it a necessity to charge on the road often. Would a $10 million dollar gas station get away with charging $10 a gallon for cost recovery purposes? Absolutely not. Yet this is what is happening with public charging sites. $10 for 18kWh of charge which would run $1.80 at home. It’s like being punished for driving a high efficiency BEV. I think he’s right, it not for the charging bring included with the Nissan/BMW programs, EVGO would be in major trouble.

      2. David D. Nelson says:

        Once in a while that is fine but regularly it is ridiculous to have to pay that much for a charge. I prefer the option AeroVironment has. If I don’t want to pay $7.50 for a quick charge I can become a member and pay $19.95/month and have unlimited charging. Fortunately I live in the Pacific Northwest where there are many AV stations which have a very good up time. I use quick charging more than three times/month so I’m ahead and AV has a known monthly revenue.

        I’d like a setup where I pay $30/month to a consolidating company to use any companies station and the consolidation company takes a small cut and divides up the remaining part of the monthly fee on a percentage basis based on whose stations I used and how much I used from them.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Well, there are people that live in Condos & apartments that want to buy EVs. And with a 200+ mile EV AND a decent local DC fast-charger, you can kinda drive it like a regular gas car where you fill it up once a week.

      I don’t think that is a good solution though. I really think the government should start pushing apartments & condos to install overnight chargers. Make all new buildings have conduit to install chargers at every parking spot. Have incentives for existing buildings to add chargers.

      We want cars plugged in overnight to take advantage of the excess capacity then.

      1. Jychevyvolt says:

        You’ll see utility companies taken over the charging infrastructure. They have the resources and knowledge. If I’m the utility company, I’m licking my chops with all these 60kwh battery that need charging. Imagine the revenue shift from gas to electric.

        1. CBonville says:

          There isn’t much shift, except from refineries to chargers. The total electrical load will probably decrease as petroleum refining goes extinct. Well, gasoline may go extinct before diesel, anyway.

  2. Jeff N says:

    I’m hoping they will use this funding to focus on interstate route high speed charging covering areas 500+ miles surrounding existing high saturation EV ownership. I’m thinking highways along the west and east coats of the US and nearby states like Nevada, Idaho, Arizona on the west coast and similarly in east coast highways. Of course, we want everywhere covered instantly but it’s better to create a quality system in some regions first and then expand rather than providing poor coverage that is widely spread across the country initially

    I think this can be a more lucrative business than metro charging. People have fewer options now so are willing to pay more on the rare occasions they take road trips. I’m certainly willing to — especially in the early years as the charging networks get built out. I’m not necessarily expecting road trip charging to be cheaper than gasoline. Tesla owners are already effectively pre-paying $2,000 or more for Supercharger access.

    The key thing is to focus on serving 200+ mile cars like the Bolt EV, and similar cars coming out from other makers in the next 2-3 years. That means starting with chargers spaced every 100 or so miles in highways away from metro areas where few 100-mile range cars will want to be driven anyway. In areas closer to metro areas they should intersperse possibly slower/cheaper stations to provide charging every 50 miles. So, on a highway leading away from a metro area they might have a slower station then 50 miles away a faster station, then 50 miles away a slower then a faster station in another 50 miles and then just faster stations every 100 miles. Later, after a full nationwide interstate network is built up they might consider going back and filling in more gaps between stations with 100 Mike gaps.

    1. Brandon says:

      All points agreed, except that intercity charging will NOT be a more luctrative business than metro charging. That said, I do hope EVgo is planning for those intercity stations that have the three characteristics of next gen fast charge networks: higher power, two chargers minimum, and located just off highways across the country.

      1. Jeff N says:

        “All points agreed, except that intercity charging will NOT be a more luctrative business than metro charging.”
        Because?

        People in metro areas can often charge at home, work, or at competing sites. Intercity/interstate locations will have much less competition initially and I think they can get away with asking for more $$ at those locations. The location may also be cheaper to obtain outside of urban areas.

        1. Brandon says:

          Yes. Let me expound. To my knowledge metropolitan or commuting route Tesla SCs are the busiest. Also, in Europe the busiest DCFC sites are urban ones. So if Tesla metropolitan SCs which serve 200+ mile range Tesla BEVs are the busiest, I would expect this to be the case for other 200 mile BEVs when they start to become common in a couple years.
          It actually doesn’t seem to make sense, but its true that urban/metropolitan fast charge locations are busier than intercity ones, and will therefore be more attractive for network operators to install business wise. That’s not to say that intercity locations won’t start to pop up, although network operators will propably mostly do so with state grants or other help.

    2. Jychevyvolt says:

      The ideal of superchargering is great but who actually go from the west coast to east coast. Most trips are taken north and south. We go to Disneyland and they go to Disney World .

      CSS network should be based on point of interest. Lay out the charging stations according to the travel habits of us west coasters. We, in the west coast, account for majority of EV sales.

  3. Ocean Railroader says:

    What kinds of worries me is that Evgo got funding from Nissan and BMW to build 600 to 800 DC quick charging stations over a year ago. And when you look at plug share a lot of the quick charging station locations are fairly old and maybe about 50 of them have been opened between this 600 BMW charger deal and now.

    1. Brandon says:

      Last November is when BMW and EVgo announced the 500 stations.

      http://insideevs.com/bmw-evgo-will-add-500-dc-fast-chargers-in-25-major-u-s-markets-under-chargenow-dc-fast/

      I’m not sure if you may be referring to funding before then?

  4. Four Electrics says:

    The business model for commercial EVSEs is a bit weird. In convenient locations, like urban areas and shopping centers, the cost of charging doesn’t nearly make up for the opportunity cost of a vehicle taking up a parking spot for a half hour to an hour. The best fit is high end malls where the owner is going to spend a lot of money at retail–but that money won’t go to EVgo.

    The gas station model, as used for hydrogen, is superior, but maybe NRG can make money gouging intestate travelers, where land is cheap.

    1. Jychevyvolt says:

      Best place to install charging stations is the workplace.

      Workplace advantage
      1. Takes care of people living in apt or condo.
      2. Free up weekend charging for traveler.
      3. 3 phase, high voltage power already available.
      4. Lots of parking space that can be converted to EV charging spot.
      5. Maintenance staff already available for repair.

  5. Texas FFE says:

    Since Vision Ridge is based in Colorado I hope they push eVgo to install DCFC branching out from Colorado. DCFC corridors from Colorado to California, Missouri and Texas are desperately needed. The East and West coasts already have pretty good DCFC corridors, it’s time to start building DCFC corridors in the Midwest.

  6. Mike I says:

    If NRG wants to take their business to the “Next Level” they need a real billing system where users can see their usage online in kWh, minutes and dollars for each session. The fact that they don’t have such a thing in 2016 is inexcusable. While we’re dreaming, the charger should start if you have their RFID card and if it loses connection to the network, then the session should be free instead of failing to start.

  7. jimstack007 says:

    This is why the Tesla model 3 has so many pre orders. They have FREE super charging nationwide every 100 miles on major highways right at food and hotel locations.
    Maybe a 1 time charge for the feature and then your on for FREE for life charging.

    1. Taser54 says:

      Supercharging has never been free. You really need to stop claiming that.

      1. JakeY says:

        Well, there was never a per use charge, so it is free under that definition.

        As for pre-paid, only the Model S 40kWh and 60kWh have had that charge. It is included in all the other models.

        Currently it is unknown what Tesla will do for Model 3 (I expect it to be an option in base model).