Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Transport

ChargePoint Leadership & The Next Frontier (#CleanTechnica Exclusive)

EV charging infrastructure was largely limited to normal electricity outlets a decade ago. The market for electric car charging stations has grown tremendously as the market has, and it’s at a critical transition point again now as long-range affordable electric cars start arriving on the market. If you live in the USA, there are several large charging networks/companies, but there’s one company in particular that jumps out when you think of EV charging stations. Even if its name wasn’t in the title, I’m sure you’d be picturing the orange logo and station styling right now.

EV charging infrastructure was largely limited to normal electricity outlets a decade ago. The market for electric car charging stations has grown tremendously as the market has, and it’s at a critical transition point again now as long-range affordable electric cars start arriving on the market. If you live in the USA, there are several large charging networks/companies, but there’s one company in particular that jumps out when you think of EV charging stations. Even if its name wasn’t in the title, I’m sure you’d be picturing the orange logo and station styling right now.

So, I recently had a chat with Simon Lonsdale, VP of Business Development at ChargePoint, to catch up on what they’re doing, what they’ve done, and what they’re planning to do.

Some of that has been covered in detail here on CleanTechnica before, so I’ll first direct you to stories on the following points:

◊  ChargePoint users can now start charging via a smartphone app.

◊  ChargePoint has teamed up with Vivint Solar & Mercedes-Benz to offer combined EV charging + solar + storage systems.

ChargePoint has partnered with Royal Farms and other chain outlets is pursuing similar partnerships to roll out charging stations at gas stations, shopping centers, restaurants, and as broadly as possible to enable EV driving of all sorts.

◊  ChargePoint offers EV charging stations designed for fleet use.

◊  ChargePoint now offers a modular charging station that can be grown up to a power output capacity of 400 kW, set up to be adaptable to fit the EV charging needs of the market as electric cars evolve.

◊  ChargePoint is aggressively expanding into Europe.

With that background out of the way, what did I learn in my chat with Simon?

First of all, ChargePoint’s charging station focus was clarified. It is aiming to grow rapidly everywhere — at homes, workplaces, and on the go (fast charging). It wants to be the charging station provider you turn to for everything.

I asked specifically about superfast charging (100–400 kW, we’ll say), since this is a long-neglected area of the market that many consumers demand. Indeed, with its new(ish) ChargePoint Express Plus Family, ChargePoint is focusing on this market and sees it as a big portion of its business in the near term because of the pent up demand.

As far as investment in this sector, Simon couldn’t leak details, but he emphasizes that the companies and people looking to invest in the market now are broad, and does include car companies and oil & gas companies (perhaps ChargePoint had a scoop on Shell’s plans, not to mention Engie’s acquisition of EVBox earlier in the year).

How long does it take for a charging station to pay off the investment into it and put the owner in the black? I wasn’t sure if Simon would answer this question, and it does obviously vary a great deal depending on location and station, but he pegged the average at ~8 years. So, yeah, not overnight, but charging stations can make you money eventually.

One more interesting note that Simon made is that ChargePoint’s acquisition of GE’s charging station business earlier this year was made in part to look out for early EV adopters. They saw it as important for the EV-driving community and early adopters that people not be left stranded with no support for their charging station just because GE decided to move on from the business. (No, I didn’t get any insight into why GE moved on.) Perhaps it’s primarily about good PR, but it definitely didn’t come across like that. It came across like many of Elon Musk’s decisions/statements that Tesla does certain things for customers just because “it’s the right thing to do.” Whether spin or not, it did give me an even more positive view of ChargePoint and its leadership.

There were other interesting matters we talked about — some of which Kyle Field is following up on, and some of which I’ll cover in a future article or two. As a hint, open charging is a hot item of interest for ChargePoint. Stay tuned for more on that.

As it turns out, I will actually be talking with Simon in a couple of days at Autonomy in Paris, where he will be on a panel and I will be moderating a couple of roundtable discussions. So, if you have questions you want me to ask him, drop them in the comments below! I will check them out while driving from Poland to Paris in a Tesla Shuttle.

Related: EV Charging, The Next Generation (#Electrifying Webinar, with Peter Badik of GreenWay)

Also see our home EV charging station buying guide.

     
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Sign up for our free daily newsletter to never miss a story.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.


New Podcast: Wireless EV Charging, Then & Now — WAVE CEO Interview

Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

CleanTechnica Webinar

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Press Releases

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Cars

EVgo is expanding its offering for Tesla drivers to help them charge at more EVgo stations across the nation. The company is upgrading hundreds...

Clean Transport

President Biden has announced a number of measures to accelerate EV adoption, including a plan to deploy 500,000 new public charging stations across the...

Clean Transport

In a previous article, I introduced a draft plan to help the Biden Administration get the most from their plan to add 500,000 EV...

Cars

Xcel Energy will deploy approximately 20,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at residential, commercial, and public sites across Colorado, under a $110 million plan...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.