Chargepoint Will Now Manage GE’s Charging Network

Charging

JUN 27 2017 BY SEBASTIAN BLANCO 42

Charging

Don’t expect any major changes, though.

ChargePoint already has the largest network of charging stations, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to slow down. Today, the company is announcing that it is taking over the management of all of General Electric’s private and public chargers (as GE is quietly exiting the business).

From DuraStations to WattStations, GE has over almost 10,000 commercial and residential units in operation (1,800 of the former, 8,000 of the latter).

GE Durastations

ChargePoint says it will make the transition “as easy and seamless as possible” for current users of GE chargers and that they shouldn’t notice much change (for now), since it will keep GE’s software and commercial charging spots up and running.

For drivers, it seems like the main change will be that the ChargePoint app is going to show GE locations. Behind the scenes, ChargePoint will operate and service the GE stations, and will still support GE’s existing warranty deals.

Full Press Release:

ChargePoint Takes Over Management of GE’s Electric Vehicle Charging Network

World’s largest charging network continues to grow, adding nearly 10,000 residential and commercial charging spots

Campbell, Calif. – June 27, 2017 – ChargePoint, Inc. the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, today announced that it has obtained a license to become the exclusive operator of GE’s EV charging network, adding more than 1,800 commercial and about 8,000 residential charging spots to its network. With drivers and customers in mind, ChargePoint will maintain GE’s existing software and commercial charging spots, helping to make the transition to ChargePoint as easy and seamless as possible for existing clients and drivers.

GE WattStation

With nearly a decade of experience in EV charging, ChargePoint will offer GE customers the opportunity to access one of the most comprehensive networks available. ChargePoint provides the tools that enable drivers to find stations and station owners to take advantage of smart features such as access control, pricing capabilities and software solutions like energy management and scheduled charging.

ChargePoint is the only EV charging company that designs, develops and manufactures its own EV charging hardware and software solutions. In addition, ChargePoint’s OnRamp program was designed specifically to bring other manufacturers to connect their charging stations to ChargePoint’s industry-leading network. GE stations will be supported by the ChargePoint support team. Drivers who are currently on the GE network will also be invited to start using the ChargePoint mobile app to locate available stations, track usage and more.

“A reliable and consistent charging experience is crucial for fostering EV adoption and these are the key elements that ChargePoint has integrated into our business model for more than a decade,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO and President, ChargePoint, Inc. “We are excited to expand our network with the acquisition of GE’s network and have worked closely with the GE team to ensure a seamless transition for customers and drivers. We are growing globally and are the best equipped to bring former GE customers and drivers into the ChargePoint family.”

“Given its decade of experience, comprehensive portfolio and track record in the industry, we are confident ChargePoint is the best fit for our EV customers,” said Bryan Groulx, General Manager of GE’s EV operations. “We are committed to working together to ensure a smooth transition.”

The agreement includes support for both residential and commercial DuraStations and WattStations. ChargePoint will maintain a network for GE commercial stations, and GE will continue to fulfill all of its warranty obligations.

ChargePoint is the only charging company that offers a complete suite of EV charging products designed to serve EV drivers everywhere they go: at home, at work, around town and on a trip. A combination of residential chargers and commercial charging solutions designed for all verticals are laying the foundation for a future where electric mobility is convenient for anyone, everywhere they go.

GE customers with questions about the transition to ChargePoint can learn more at http://info.chargepoint.com/ge_welcome.

Source: ChargePoint

Categories: Charging

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42 Comments on "Chargepoint Will Now Manage GE’s Charging Network"

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Brian

That picture of GE Durastations looks very familiar. Like the row that my Leaf is currently plugged into…

I wonder what this means for my company. I know Chargepoint is notorious for high rates. I believe the decision was made to go with GE simply because the rates were much lower…

ClarksonCote

Specifically, my understanding is that GE has zero recurring fees. You don’t have to pay anything for the software/cloud capabilities to track user data, etc.

Unlike Chargepoint, which as I understand it, charges something like $100 per year for those capabilities.

And that fee makes it awfully hard for the industry to take off, since the per kWh price needed to charge for minimum usage becomes very high, further limiting the potential of the charging industry.

vdiv

Try $48/month

ClarksonCote

Ugh. I don’t know why ChargePoint wants to shoot themselves and the EV industry as a whole in the foot with these high rates.

If it weren’t for those rates, most of the public stations could be 25 cents/kWh, a very reasonable cost that would see their usage and demand increase greatly.

energymatters

In CA public charge stations are REQUIRED by law to be charged commercial rates for electricity. (A law pushed by Utilities…) Currently these rates are $0.245/KWH and that’s before any cost of equipment, operations, cellular networking ($35-40/mo per station alone), repairs, profit, etc.

Of course, the WHOLESALE cost of electricity is about 10% of that (~$0.03/kwh in CA) and so this gives a Utility owned Charge Station a massive price advantage over any private station that does not control its own power supply.

Tesla has shown they have realized this with recent announcement about more solar and taking the charging stations fully off grid.

The Utilities are seeking to extend their monopolies into the new electric fuel supply.

unlucky

Which law put that into place?

DJ

So then how do I charge at several ChargePoint stations for free?

unlucky

When considering this you may want to consider that the company charging less is exiting the business in favor of the one you say is overcharging.

It’s quite possible that charging such fees is necessary to make a business of this.

vdiv

However such a steep fee discourages adoption. It explains why station owners including businesses and municipalities charge such exorbitant fees for plugin drivers to use them. It also explains why ChargePoint stations sometimes disappear or get replaced by a cheaper provider or a stand-alone station. As we get fewer options prices will go up.

unlucky

You’re corrupting my message. I didn’t condone gouging. I said if it takes charging that much to make a business (at least break even) then that’s what they have to do to remain in business and offer the service.

For you to say that reduced competition means higher consumer prices is a completely different argument. If the prices are going up because companies are padding their pocketbooks then you have a point. But I can’t see how it’s possible to conclude this is what is happening here from what we see here. So instead I offered another possibility.

ClarksonCote

The main thing that bothers me is that GE offered cloud services for free and Chargepoint charges $75/month apparently?

I assume both had some profit model in mind when they rolled out these very separate approaches.

Hopefully these kinds of prices don’t stifle the overall industry.

ClarksonCote

If the charging station provider is charging $48/month in flat fees regardless of kWh usage, that is a huge cost disadvantage without prolific use.

I’m all for the charging station owners making money, but they’re not able to do that if the charging station provider is gouging them.

Ultimately, success will be achieved in commercial charging locations when they can be profitable at per kWh costs that are less than gasoline, which would be around 25 cents per kWh.

GE’s WattStations made that possible, since there’s no recurring software fees. Chargepoint is sacrficing their growth greatly by making these monthly fees independent of use.

If they would just tack on a greater processing fee for each transaction and eliminate flat fees, charging costs would be lowered and demand would increase greatly.

Chargepoint would suffer a momentary drop in revenue, but I believe in the long-term, they would make far more money.

unlucky

If you charge for use of your stations you can negotiate with ChargePoint. When I talked to them they said there were various programs where the fixed fees would be partially or fully covered by them taking part of the charging fees. I didn’t pursue further as none of it made financial sense for the case I was looking at since the EVSE I was investigating wouldn’t get sufficient use. In effect we would have done better to give away electricity from a consumer-grade charger than try to bill though CP.

ClarksonCote

“In effect we would have done better to give away electricity from a consumer-grade charger than try to bill though CP.”

I think that is the norm rather than the exception unfortunately. I’ve heard this several times, but have never heard that people can be profitable with ChargePoint’s fee structure. Which is really why their approach frustrates me so much.

TP

GE does charge the site/equipment owner fees if they take part of the network. But when I looked at it about 18 months ago it was slightly cheaper than Charge Point. If I recall correctly, over the long run GE’s fees were more favorable.

Many Whole Food’s locations near me provide GE Durastations for free. In fact, I have not seen any pay versions in middle Tennessee.

Euro point of view

The interesting question to answer is “Why does GE exit this bizness” ?

Brian

GE is a huge company which could have any number of motivations. My guess is that the profit margins are much too slim, and they’d rather focus on something more profitable.

vdiv

GE has been exiting consumer markets to concentrate on what they consider core competencies. Recently they stopped making light bulbs which was big news, they exited the appliance business, and a few years ago they sold NBC/Universal to Comcast.

darth

The long term profitability of public EV charging networks is very questionable. As ranges go up, need for public charging goes down. But as acceptance increases, more people who rent will want EVs, so they will need some type of charging infrastructure. But will demand be high enough from these users to make these networks profitable?

I use EVGo about once a week, mainly to give them some income so that the chargers I rely on will stay in service. I hope its enough, at least until I get my Model 3.

I think Tesla rightly recognized that charging is never going to be a profit center, so even with their new limited supercharging plan the price is still very reasonable.

theflew

The cost of Superchargers is buried somewhere on the balance sheet of each Model S/X sold. Whether Tesla makes a profit from them I don’t know, but I guarantee they aren’t losing money on them.

The big question is how will the Model 3 effect the Supercharger network

Anton

Perhaps the successful model will be something similar to that of Tesla and baking the cost of an EVSE network into the cost of the EV. Or, if the major carmakers can agree with each other (especially GM, that apparently doesn’t want to invest in a charging infrastructure at all, but who are selling a decent number of cars that can use one), they could, at their scale, offer a relatively low-cost EVSE network that would work like a subscription service.

unlucky

Of public AC EV charging.

DC will stick around so that people can take day trips they can’t take on a single charge. And until we have AC built out at hotels they’ll even use DC charging for multi-day long trips.

CCIE

Well that’s bad news. Chargepoint gouges both the station owners and the users.

On top of that, when a station breaks they try to charge the owner such a crazy amount to fix it that they often don’t bother.

Charging stations should either be privately owned/maintained by the property. Or, they should be owned/maintained by a charging company who leases space for them (like EVGO). Chargepoint’s hybrid model doesn’t work.

Anton
I agree. With their current model, ChargePoint will almost certainly never become cost-effective for EV drivers. With a network like EVGO, that owns and manages every EVSE, we can start seeing some efficiencies of scale that might translate into a more robust pricing model. EVGO already offers monthly plans, where your monthly payment offsets the lower rate you pay for each charge. As EVs spread — one hopes — more people will inevitably rely on public charging stations, and so, because EVGO own the stations, they can introduce new plans that cater to an expanding market — so if someone is running low and needs a few extra miles, they can pay the admittedly high one-time payment for a quick charge, while someone who can’t reliably charge at home can pay a higher monthly fee and charge however much they need. Unless ChargePoint adopt the same model, they’ll never be able to use that, because once someone invests into one of their expensive EVSE’s and has to keep paying for ChargePoint’s service, they basically have to set a high usage fee to recover those costs. But setting a high fee for charging creates a vicious cycle, because fewer people want… Read more »
unlucky
People really want to blast chargepoint but the main issue is there is just a limited market for AC charging. Charging at home will always be cheaper so people will do it. If you have a 120 mile range car you will virtually never use an AC charger (except a free one) with 60 miles of your home. And that’s where you spend all your time. Think of it, your neighborhood gas station doesn’t exist. If it isn’t near a residence, at work (for companies that offer workplace charging) or near one of the few sorts of activities people park for hours at (sporting events, golf, maybe theaters) it’s not going to last for long. Yes, there will be a short reprieve due to people in apartments wanting to charge and not being able to charge at their apartment. But that’s not going to last for long. And that’s mostly the hardcore penny-pinchers anyway. A true skinflint will park their car a block away twice weekly and walk home while it charges. But the average car owner won’t even consider a car they have to do that for. And we will see more apartment/rental residence charging. There is nothing to… Read more »
ClarksonCote

“People really want to blast chargepoint but the main issue is there is just a limited market for AC charging. ”

We blast ChargePoint because it is their pricing that exacerbates the limited market for AC charging.

A model that makes the cost competitive with gasoline will see all plug-in hybrid owners using these stations, instead of passing them by to use cheaper gasoline instead.

unlucky

Again, I completely disagree for the reasons I stated. Stating that something should be cheaper doesn’t hold up if the finances of it mean you cannot make a business of it.

In that case a model which made them cheaper would result in more people using them but the company losing money. While you might find that attractive the company running the service would not be impressed.

As I mentioned before, there is a limited market for AC charging. This will remain the case for the reasons of price and convenience.

It’s easy to say I could run this service cheaper. Follow through and show us how. If you can laugh last you’ll laugh best.

vdiv

You are assuming that ChargePoint does not make money when they do, handsomely. They have collected the most grants, their stations are the most expensive to buy, their fees are the highest, they are bouncing up and down about Electrify America that has not deployed a single station yet, and now they have outbid everyone to gobble up GE’s network.

unlucky

Nowhere did I assume or state that ChargePoint doesn’t make money. In fact I said they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t make money and they are doing it so it seems I assumed they ARE making money.

What I said was to assume that they are soaking people is easy to do if you have no familiarity with the business. You go ahead and assume it, but I don’t agree. And if you want to show they are, then you’re going to have to do more than state their EVSEs are expensive, because that doesn’t indicate they are making a lot of profit, simply that it’s an expensive business.

ClarksonCote

When several companies can make profitable models for their business without price gouging for required cloud services, I feel perfectly comfortable faulting ChargePoint here.

SunOne

Are GE stations smart ? Connected with cloud and software configurations ??

unlucky

https://www.gewattstation.com/connect/

It looks like it’s started by an app, like greenlots. That means the cloud is starting them after checking out your billing info. So I guess they are cloud connected.

ClarksonCote

Yes, my employer has issued RFID’s to everyone similar to the ChargePoint cards. People waive it and gain access to charge their cars.

My employer then uses the cloud data to pull usage for each RFID card and deduct the cost of the energy used out of each person’s paycheck on a monthly basis.

It works out wonderfully, unless Chargepoint starts in with their crazy monthly fees for the same service that GE offered for free.

SunOne

Never trust GE marketing. As per GE marketing this system was to be launched in 2011 when the started running these adds.
Real life is completely different. see their stock price now

Bill Howland

California electricity pricing goes hand in hand with ChargePoint pricing – they’re both overpriced.

Once a commercial customer pays the billing charge and demand fine for the month, and future electricity cost is in the neighborhood of 4 cents/kwh. So if a business turns their GE chargers on ‘off peak’, they can charge 10 cents/kwh and still make a profit, and not be more than residential rates at home.

ChargePoint seems to rely heavily on gov’t grants – whether to them directly or indirectly through the businesses that utilize them. When all the subsidies finally sunset, I wouldn’t think there’d be much call for the ChargePoints as by then more cost effective methods, such as I’ve mentioned, will be used.

Some of the DuraStations, and some of the Wattstations are currently free, and have no need of a network or access card anyway.

unlucky

Sure, and no Durastation or Wattstation was ever put in using a grant.

Wow, the things people will say…

I think Chargepoints will do fine in the few locations where AC charging makes sense long term. They already do very well for work charging, etc. Obviously many AC charging points (Chargepoint included) will disappear once grants run out because the locations the stations were located in never made sense in the first place.

Bill Howland

Once again, you make the constipated comment, of twisting things that I say, or did not say. I stand by what I’ve typed.

And in my area at least, even your aside is incorrect. The one thing ChargePoint has going for it *IS* great locations – almost all of them are in very convenient locations and also are doubly useful in that there is no alternative.

ChargePoint would argue of course, that they need to charge the fees they do to handle the high maintenance of their stations that constantly break down, such as locks that don’t work, Blue Tooth access that stops working, etc. It was admitted to me by the ChargePoint salesman in my area that the ongoing maintenance is far higher an expense than they had initially expected.

The GE Durastations break down at a far lower rate than the ChargePoints, mainly because they don’t have any silly, unreliable cord locks that are totally unnecessary – which is obviously whey GE doesn’t have them.

For technical reasons, CCS jacks REQUIRE Locks. Small AC docking stations don’t need them due to the zero-crossing issue, i.e. the arcs are self-extinguishing.

unlucky
ChargePoint has several kinds of locations. I never said they were bad at locating chargers. They actually are good at locating the ones they install on their own accord. But there are a lot of ChargePoint chargers are installed by someone else. ChargePoint doesn’t have a choice in the locations of those. And because of this there are ChargePoints in bad locations. Locations which simply won’t last as there are more chargers installed in apartments and other convenient locations. So yeah, there are ChargePoint chargers in some good locations, those will stay. But there are also ChargePoint chargers in bad locations. And those won’t stay. ChargePoint stations (as opposed to the home chargers) don’t do any Bluetooth. So I’m quite certain I have no idea what you mean about Bluetooth that stops working. Perhaps you mean the RFID reader? I’ve generally had good luck with it, although eventually the RFID card frays at the edges and stops working. You can make the card last longer by putting tape around the edges when you get the card. This will protect the edges. But frankly, just give up on the RFID and use the app on your phone instead. Everyone should just… Read more »
Bill Howland
Talk about splitting hairs – the only reason I’m responding is I’m at a McDonald’s on my bicycle and looked up IEV’s as a diversion. At least I’m getting physical exercise doing this – you’d definitely improve your personality if you’d get out more – the exercise will make you more relaxed. Ok, rfid card – not bluetooth – ok I misspoke – perhaps I should have said the ‘authorization thingy’. The locks hold the cord at the docking station. The ones in the PIC have them and both the old (not shown) and new models have them, but both are equally unreliable. You’ve obviously never even used a CP station since I’ve never seen one that DIDN’T have a lock. Most in my area are the ‘dual cord’ models, whether new or old. It is instructive to see how IRATE the NEXT ev driver gets when I’m sitting at a docking station using the only working cord, and then another ev owner comes up to try to get the defective unit to release its cord. Of course, most stuff designed in California is not sufficiently rugged to withstand Buffalo NY weather extremes. Incidentally, ChargePoint keeps sending me emails to… Read more »
Bill Howland
Talk about splitting hairs – the only reason I’m responding is I’m at a McDonald’s on my bicycle and looked up IEV’s as a diversion. As far as grants go, I was expressing an opinion that the more expensive product would have a harder time being saleable when in competition to a more affordable product if and subsidies are reduced. DUH. At least I’m getting physical exercise doing this – you’d definitely improve your personality if you’d get out more – the exercise will make you more relaxed. Ok, rfid card – not bluetooth – ok I misspoke – perhaps I should have said the ‘authorization thingy’. The locks hold the cord at the docking station. The ones in the PIC have them and both the old (not shown) and new models have them, but both are equally unreliable. You’ve obviously never even used a CP station since I’ve never seen one that DIDN’T have a lock. Most in my area are the ‘dual cord’ models, whether new or old. It is instructive to see how IRATE the NEXT ev driver gets when I’m sitting at a docking station using the only working cord, and then another ev owner comes… Read more »
Bill Howland

Unlucky: “Bill, its all in your head”.

As the following paragraph proves, the only delusional one here, is you. You should try walking around the block, or perhaps if you are able to, ride a bicycle a little bit. This would ameliorate your constipation problem.

Bill Howland

IN my area (Buffalo, NY). Incidentally, I just researched that when National Grid (my utility) operates in Western Massachusetts, the residential rates more than double, although the billing charge goes from $17.00 to $4. So anyone using more than the tinyest bit of electricity is getting hosed there.