Nissan Pulls Plug On CarCharging Agreement On 48 DC Fast Chargers

JUN 22 2015 BY MARK KANE 24

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Nissan Has Shown A Willingness To Install Massive Amounts Fast Charging Infrastructure Worldwide - Which Could Affect Consumers Decisions On Buying A BEV Over A PHEV In The Future

Nissan DC fast charger

There were 1,238 DC fast chargers with CHAdeMO plug in the US as of the end of May.

There could be much more, but many projects were delayed or encountered various difficulties.

For example, over two years ago CarCharging Group entered into an agreement with Nissan to install 48 DC fast chargers, along with their own network of Blink DC fast chargers acquired in the meantime from bankrupt ECOtality.

It was a damn good deal, as CarCharging paid just $792,912.

Sadly, this project didn’t work too well and it seems that only part of the CHAdeMO chargers were installed (specifically 7), while the rest of the uninstalled units look to now go back to Nissan.

This interesting morsel flowed from the 10-Q report:

“The Company entered into a joint marketing agreement with Nissan North America (“Nissan”) for which among other matters requires the Company to build, own, operate and maintain a network of 48 fast chargers throughout the United States and create an auto dealer network promotion and referral program so as to facilitate sales of electric vehicles to their potential customers. Payments received under the agreement on March 29, 2013 of $782,880 were deferred and are being recognized ratably over the life of the chargers as they are installed. The Company identified the obligation to install and maintain the chargers and the obligation to create a referral and promotion program as separate elements under the agreement but determined that they did not qualify as separate units of accounting for purposes of recognizing revenue. The multiple deliverables are not separate units of accounting because Nissan North America has not delineated specific amounts of the revenue to particular elements of the agreement and the Company is unable to estimate the fair value or the selling price of the respective deliverables. The Company has installed seven units as of September 30, 2014 and is required to create an auto dealer network promotion and referral program and to install the remainder of the network by December 31, 2014, as extended. Additionally, the Company sold five fast chargers during the quarter ended September 30, 2014 for which Nissan North America has reduced the Company’s commitment to own, operate and maintain a network of 43 fast chargers resulting in the recognition of $81,550 of deferred revenue during the quarter ended September 30, 2014. No revenue was recognized during the three months ended and the nine months ended September 30, 2013. The Company also received an additional $50,000 during the quarter ended March 31, 2014 to augment the units installed under the grant. For the three months ended nine months ended September 30, 2014, $8,835 and $12,232 had been recognized as revenue and the $50,000 was offset against the costs incurred to augment the units installed under the grant recorded in general and administrative expenses. On April 2, 2015, Nissan advised the Company that as a result of its material default of the Joint Marketing Agreement (“Agreement”), Nissan was terminating the Agreement and would take possession of the 31 uninstalled fast chargers currently held at a third party facility. Included in the Other Assets as of September 30, 2014 are 31 Nissan fast chargers valued at $512,089. Included in deferred revenue as of September 30, 2014 is $505,610 received from Nissan pertaining to these 31 fast chargers in conjunction with the Joint Marketing Agreement.”

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24 Comments on "Nissan Pulls Plug On CarCharging Agreement On 48 DC Fast Chargers"

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Greenlots is better then Blink. Blink has a huge network of abandoned in Tennessee along interstate 40 that haven’t worked in over a year.

Personally I think the number of quick chargers that work is declining faster then they can build them.

O.R., I agree with you that CCG/Blink DCFC network in Tennessee has become unreliable. Especially on I-75 and I-40. Even the most reliable corridor, according to PlugShare, on I-24 between Nashville and Chattanooga is dicey.

“It was a damn good deal, as CarCharging paid just $792,912.”

Wasn’t the agreement for Nissan to pay CarCharging to “to build, own, operate and maintain a network of 48 fast chargers. . .” “Payments received [by CarCharging] under the agreement on March 29, 2013 of $782,880 were deferred and are being recognized ratably over the life of the chargers as they are installed.”

“On March 28, 2013, we purchased 48 fast chargers from Aerovironment at an aggregate cost of $792,912.”

I’m confused. So Nissan paid CarCharging $782,880 under the agreement to install fast chargers, which CarCharging listed as deferred revenue to be recognized when the chargers were installed. CarCharging then used that money to buy 48 fast chargers from Aerovironment for $792,912. CarCharging then installs only 7 chargers and sells 5. Nissan says CarCharging materially defaulted on their agreement and takes possession of 31 uninstalled charges (5 chargers are missing and unaccounted for). After writing the above, it now makes sense to me. 😀

Note: At the time of this dispute (Sept 2014) there were less than 731 CHAdeMO DCFC deployed in the US.

31 DCFC missing in a field of 731 is much more significant issue than 31 DCFC missing from a field of 1238 (as InsideEVs states was the case in May 2015).

Ref: report from Oct 7, 2014.
“The number of CHAdeMO DC Quick chargers installed up to today is 4241.
— (Japan 2129 Europe 1327 USA 731 Others 54) last update 2014.10.07”

It is good that Nissan took corrective action and is now working with other DCFC network providers and deployments. The 70% increase in 7 months is a great sign.
(731 to 1238 DCFC from Oct 2014 to May 2015)
Clearly not all DCFC installed during this period had a Nissan connection, but it appears DCFC deployments in general are happening at a quicker pace now.

Over 4% at 731 (Sept 2014), but check this:
“We are required to install the network by December 31, 2013.”

Yes, details of timeline given are confusing. Agreement started in March 2013, but as of Sept 2014 only 7 DCFC units deployed. The explanation creates more questions that providing answers.

Of note: on Oct 10, 2013 CarCharging won bid for ECOtality (Blinks previous parent), finishing the acquition on Oct 17, 2013. The 3.3 million Blink acquition clearly impacted CarCharging’s DCFC deployment plans.


Do I hear a word “scam” on CCG?

This company appears as bad as the old Blink, but on a smaller financial rip-off scale.

As long as the big execs get to take home fat pay checks and have a lavish expense accounts, it’s fine by them. Once the money runs out and the company goes bankrupt, they’ll move on to their next venture. They’ll stay on a sinking ship till the end, drinking cocktails and listening to the band play.

My interesting take away on this is that the chargers are valued at approx 16k each. Weren’t these 40k originally.

I am hopeful that they start marketing the Nichicon/Nissan CHAdeMO V2H box soon. Anyone know what it is going for these days?

When the Nissan branded QCs were launched, they claimed that they started at $10k, but most of the ones that were sold ended up selling for around $15.

Wow, looks like serious incompetence at Car Charging Group.

I use Blink chargers regularly in South San Francisco. CCG does not do a very good job of maintaining the Ecotality assets they purchased. However, I don’t know if they are making much money on their investment.

Can’t speak to their investment but in their WAY late filing (see, for the quarter they just reported on, they had about $1 million in revenue, but they lost almost $8.5 million in the process.

Why not just pay Tesla a royalty or some other agreement and use their network. Why do 10+ companies need to reinvent the wheel. Just think if Ford, GM, Nissan, VW, helped Tesla instead of trying to one-up each other. What a great national system we would already have. Being rich does not = “smart”.

Unfortunately, there is no other car on the road that can even use the Tesla Superchargers. Tesla has stated that other manufacturers could license use IF they had a 200+ mile range.

I would bet Tesla would love a $2000 fee per car (the amount they supposedly bill Model S owners). I would doubt non-DC charging cars could handle it and you’d need adapters for everyone else. I am SURE you can create logic in an adapter that would talk to the car and charger to negotiate a handshake.

This just adds to the argument that privately owned charging network economics really don’t work in America unless they can be directly tied to some other economic driver, such as manufacturer vehicle sales (eg Tesla superchargers).

In Europe, governments can work together to support and roll out public owned charging networks, but they also don’t have to deal with vast distances and low population densities found in America.

The America charging model (other than Tesla) has yet to be discovered, but in the meantime there are plenty of Venture Capital funds to milk with bogus business plans.

Currently it does not make much sense to have a for-profit charging network in the North America. This will likely change in 15-20 years, but until then a mix of public funding and manufacturer funding is needed.

The only place I could see for-profit working right now, would be at a traditional fuel station. They have infrastructure, and are already along major routes. Plus these businesses already rely on selling items in the store for profits, as they make little on gas.

@Ted P,

I commented with the exact same thought regarding charging stations @ gas stations (plus malls, schools, workplaces, etc.).

There’s no business sense for charging station business currently. Period too. There’s just no business plan. As of now, the format is simply landowners/operators focused – they contact the charging station companies and purchase equipments from them. As a result, there can be miles without any stations, or stations very close to each other, but for the wrong type of charging stations (e.g. L2 at a drugstore, and only 1 available).

Instead, the business model needs to be equipment company focused, then build the locations out, similar to that of Starbucks, etc.

The only way for now to have a well-established network is from Utility company stepping in, but such action is met with huge resistance from the charging station companies (understandable).

@ Londo, I agree. Over the last few months I have learned that CCG/Blink, ChargePoint, Greenlots, etc rarely own the equipment. Instead they sell it and provide the network and maintenance for a fee.

Most EV owners do not realize that the charging network providers own only a small portion, if any, of their network. They are simply service providers. I believe that this is their major downfall, as when equipment goes down, they only fix it, if the equipment owner agrees to pay to fix it. That model works fine in mature markets, but the EV market is still in the early adopter phase.

Instead, the networks need to own the equipment and be focused on providing reliable service and high up-time.

@Ted P, ChargePoint and Greenlots do not own their own equipment, however CCG/Blink and NRG eVgo do own and control their own equipment. Occasionally Blink sells a unit, but is extremely rare. As a result, ChargePoint is doing well, while CCG is drowning in red ink (and eVgo just doesn’t care being part of a big utility).