With the growth of electric vehicles over the years, there’s no question that there has to be a way for owners to be able to recharge their vehicles while they are out and about, just the same that regular automobiles need to. Cars that run on gas refuel at gas stations while electric vehicles need charging stations. While most of the charging happens at home, there are times when you may need to grab a charge while you are away from home, depending on where you are, how far you’ve driven and still need to go. If an EV owner has to stop to charge while out, they want to be able to charge their vehicle as quick as possible so they can get on their way without a long delay at the charging station.
ChargePoint is one of the biggest names in electric vehicle charging stations. They have continuously worked to improve charging for electric vehicles; their charging efficiency as well as the number of stations posted across the country among other things. The latest achievement for ChargePoint is their ability to now charge electric vehicles 800% faster to get you on your way quicker.
Who is ChargePoint?
ChargePoint is the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network. They are a venture-backed company that is involved in all aspects of EV charging; from designing to building and supporting all of the technology that is used in building and powering the ChargePoint network. ChargePoint’s mission is to help more people make the choice to drive Green by choosing to drive electric.
To date, ChargePoint is the largest electric vehicle charging service with their equipment being used at over 18,000 charging stations. They expect there will be hundreds of thousands of charging stations by 2020 to 2025 with 90% - 95% of the stations connected to ChargePoint Cloud services. Although there is already value in the network today, by the time the growth-boom hits, there will be a tremendous amount of value. ChargePoint sees a bright future for EV’s. It anticipates a substantial increase in electric vehicle growth over the next decade and is not only working to meet the demands for EV drivers today, but it promotes the need for more green drivers and is preparing to meet the demands of this growth.
ChargePoint was founded by a group of highly motivated entrepreneurs who had a vision for leading an industry that was beginning to take form – electric vehicles. Helping people to make a positive change for a better, healthier environment is the drive behind ChargePoint, and to do that, it meant making driving EV’s a more convenient choice. One of the biggest issues associated with EV’s has been the accessibility of charging them when you need to. The founders of ChargePoint set-out to accomplish just that – create charging stations anywhere and everywhere EV’s travel to make driving green, easy and convenient.
Two of the founders of ChargePoint include:
- Dave Baxter – Dave Baxter is Co-Founder and Vice President, Hardware Engineering. His experience is as a technology innovator as well as product developer. He’s held several senior management positions and worked with 3Com Corp and Adept Technology. He is also a pioneer of voice over broadband technology among many other impressive positions and accomplishments. Dave holds a B.S. from Engineering College at Cornell University.
- Richard Lowenthal – Richard Lowenthal is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of ChargePoint. He has also a member of Green Charge Network’s advisory board and a member of the board of directors and is an investor of Green Charge Networks. He is a well-seasoned entrepreneur and brings with him to Green Charge Networks, 20 years of domain expertise in intelligent networks. He played a key role in other start-up companies including, Lightera, Pipal Systems, as well as Procket Networks.
ChargePoint partners with lots of companies and businesses in order to help electric vehicle ownership more convenient as well as to help promote green vehicles.
- Auto Makers – Some of the biggest, most trusted names in the auto world have partnered with ChargePoint; BMW, Nissan, Chevrolet, Smart, Fiat, Volkswagen, Cadillac among others.
- Hardware – Because ChargePoint is compatible with all of the hardware by other manufacturers, ChargePoint has partnered with many of these hardware manufacturers and has a very large network.
- Resellers – ChargePoint is growing their partnerships with resellers. Those who want to get onboard and be an authorized reseller, will see multiple benefits. Join companies like Rexel and ABM to promote and resell ChargePoint.
- Installers – ChargePoint partners with installers of the ChargePoint system. To become an installer, you must complete the online class and will receive your certificate of completion.
ChargePoint does not actually operate any charge points for electric vehicles, but rather sells equipment and the technology to places that wish to set-up a charge point for electric vehicles for their customers, such as a shopping plaza, an office building or business, or even a stand-alone station. Most of the equipment used at charge stations, so far, have only been able to handle the batteries of the EV’s that are currently being operated, but as technology has improved and batteries will be being upgraded to larger ones, the equipment will need to be able to handle them in order to charge them at a faster rate than just adding 170 miles of charge in 30 minutes time.
Recently, ChargePoint announced that it has introduced ExpressPlus charging network that is a family of ultra-fast DC charging products which are set to charge at a much faster rate for the current battery size and those in the future. The goal is to make charging your car comparable to the time it takes to fuel a car with gasoline. The equipment ChargePoint puts out and is being used at the charging stations, will be equipment that is easily upgraded to support the next generation of plug-ins, even vehicles as large as trucks and buses.
What impact will ChargePoint have on the environment in the future?
With over 18,000 ChargePoints currently in place, it’s a good start but there is still a lot of work to be done. ChargePoint has big plans over the next many years to get more charging stations open across the country and around the world. They have been working hard since their start-up, to help businesses and drivers adopt the new way of driving – green driving. Their goal is to have enough charge stations around that it creates a seamless pathway between drivers and charging for a better driving experience. When drivers feel confident that they can plugin wherever they go; at home, work, at the store or on the road, more people will feel more comfortable with turning green and switch to electric for their automobiles. No one wants to worry if their car will run out of juice before they reach their destination or they won't be able to find somewhere to charge it when they need it, and that is ChargePoint's goal; to alleviate that worry about going electric.
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Written by Maria McCutchen
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