pkulak
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:45 pm

johnrhansen wrote:I think the charging business model is all wrong. It should be like the wi-fi in Starbucks. It's free for customers (or members), and only available to customers (or members). I think charging stations ought to be a marketing dream come true for the right kind of business. You plug in and are forced to spend time (and hopefully money) at that location. You invest a dollar's worth of electricity, and extract 5 times that in profit from the customer.
I think that's what _will_ happen, but there just aren't enough EVs out there right now. It would take forever to recoup the cost of a quick charger. It's getting close though. I see a lot of EVs around me in the PNW these days.

DarkStar
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:25 pm

Yep, just like wifi, companies started with really expensive gear and asked customers to pay for it. As prices (and competition) came down on equipment, wifi became a loss-leader, getting customers in the door to buy things.

The same will eventually happen to EVSEs too.
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ITestStuff
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:02 am

DarkStar wrote:The same will eventually happen to EVSEs too.
Except the more people that use EVSE's, the more the cost to the business. Not true for wifi (well, at least it doesn't scale the same way; sure, if you go from 10 people needing wifi to 1000 people needing it, there are more infrastructure costs). So the business model may not grow in the same way.

Seems more likely that it will involve advertising support (i.e. using those gigantic Blink plasma screens), or the subscription model. I know some companies are already doing subscriptions, it'll be interesting to see if they can make a profit.

pkulak
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:11 am

ITestStuff wrote:
DarkStar wrote:The same will eventually happen to EVSEs too.
Except the more people that use EVSE's, the more the cost to the business. Not true for wifi (well, at least it doesn't scale the same way; sure, if you go from 10 people needing wifi to 1000 people needing it, there are more infrastructure costs). So the business model may not grow in the same way.

Seems more likely that it will involve advertising support (i.e. using those gigantic Blink plasma screens), or the subscription model. I know some companies are already doing subscriptions, it'll be interesting to see if they can make a profit.
I bet Starbucks pays $200 a month for Comcast business class internet or similar. That's almost 3000 kWhs in the PNW. Or about 8 quick charges per day. I can see a business not really worrying about something like that if there are a bunch of new customers coming in the door.

QueenBee
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:16 am

pkulak wrote:I bet Starbucks pays $200 a month for Comcast business class internet or similar. That's almost 3000 kWhs in the PNW. Or about 8 quick charges per day. I can see a business not really worrying about something like that if there are a bunch of new customers coming in the door.
If they can get Comcast for this purpose they probably spend less than $100 a month + whatever maintenance contract they have to manage the entire setup.

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DaveEV
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:34 pm

QueenBee wrote:
pkulak wrote:I bet Starbucks pays $200 a month for Comcast business class internet or similar. That's almost 3000 kWhs in the PNW. Or about 8 quick charges per day. I can see a business not really worrying about something like that if there are a bunch of new customers coming in the door.
If they can get Comcast for this purpose they probably spend less than $100 a month + whatever maintenance contract they have to manage the entire setup.
Even assuming it costs $200/mo for business class internet (cost is typically closer to $100/mo for business DSL/cable-modem service), install costs are usually minimal to free. This setup will support dozens of customers concurrently.

Now let's say you want to install 4 L2 stations. Chargepoint stations cost ~$7k for their new dual-plug stations. Installation cost to trench and run electricity can typically cost about $10k. Yeah, so now you're up to ~$25k just for the install. Let's say they have a 20% utilization factor (probably generous) - you might deliver about 50-60 kWh / day or about 1500 kWh/month. At a cheap $0.10/kWh that's $150/mo, but could be 2x that. If you are paying demand charges, you will probably incur about 10-15 kW of demand charges/month - that might cost another $100-400 / mo depending on your utility and demand charges.

The installation cost is the cost of 10 years of internet service and the utility costs are 2-5x more and you will only be able to serve up to 4 customers at a time.

Now try to run the numbers for a couple QC stations - install costs are 4x higher per plug (unless you can get a free charger from Nissan in which case it's pretty reasonable they estimate $13k for a QC station - I'll take two!) and if you have to pay demand charges those could easily be over 5-10x more per month.

It's easy to see why building a viable business is very difficult when coupled with the fact that it seems that too many people too short sighted to see that public charging is going to cost a lot more than home charging just like the cost of a Pepsi or coffee at home costs a fraction of what you pay at a restaurant and yet the restaurant business seems to move quite a few "overpriced" beverages.

brettcgb
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:49 pm

johnrhansen wrote:I think the charging business model is all wrong. It should be like the wi-fi in Starbucks. It's free for customers (or members), and only available to customers (or members). I think charging stations ought to be a marketing dream come true for the right kind of business. You plug in and are forced to spend time (and hopefully money) at that location. You invest a dollar's worth of electricity, and extract 5 times that in profit from the customer. Instead of retailers letting some third party install and maintain the station, they should install them themselves and only let customers charge there, and do it for free. If I had a retail business, that's what I'd do. If you are stuck somewhere and have to charge... plug in and go spend some money and they will turn the charger on for you.
Such a network exists. Volta Industries http://www.voltacharging.com/index.html is apparently just getting started, and are based out of Hawaii. I've seen one of their free chargers in Phoenix (Ray and 48th St). I think such chargers are supported by the shopping center.
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smkettner
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:17 pm

Randy wrote:
pchilds wrote:Can't wait until all Blink stations are $.49 kWh. :(
Hmmm....$1 per hour Level 2 (split with the host site) doesn't collect enough revenue to sustain the business and ECOtality goes bankrupt...New owner pays $3.3M to jump on board...

The new owner HAS to charge more than $1 per hour to recover his investment and allow him provide a viable charging service.
Or the split can change. 100% to new owner until a break even minimum is reached. Then a sliding scale.
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Alexcuse
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:32 am

My workplace has a Blink charger installed. The blink cards we were using from work (that work or Blink pays for) stopped working today. But my personal blink card ($1/hr) still works.

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Randy
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Re: 9/17/13: ECOtality files for bankrupcy and gets Nissan l

Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:08 pm

Q2 2013 Financial information about the Blink buyer: Car Charging group

http://www.hotstocked.com/article/66392 ... above.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Their winning bid was $3.35 million for the Blink assets

• cash: $165 thousand
• current assets: $1.1 million
• current liabilities: $8.9 million
• quarterly revenue: $77 thousand
• quarterly net loss: $5.6 million
• accumulated deficit: $26.8 million

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