To be foolish or not

Motley Fool

When Fools are right

When David fights Goliath, bet on Goliath is the title of a recent article on The Motley Fool. After taking a quick look at it, we have to agree.

For every new electric vehicle (EV) sold, there will be potentially several EV charging stations sold. Nissan has already gone on record stating that the LEAF will be rolled out initially in those states that provide EV charging infrastructure. Think about it. If you want your new technology vehicle to be successful, the equipment must be in place to insure its success. That equipment is called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) when it comes to EVs, and it will ultimately be supplied by companies such as General Electric. Like it or not, the Clipper Creeks and ECOtalitys of the world will be ulitmately obliterated by the power of GE. The early providers of such equipment gain some assistance from the government in meeting the mandates of the initial deployment. More importantly, over the long run, who will rule the game. Like it or not, we have to go with the powers that be. So it is written. So it shall be. (Unless you find the “little engine that could”. But you must understand… it will be a longshot.)

This entry was posted in Charging Infrastructure, Industry News, Is the Nissan LEAF right for me?, LEAF 101, LEAF Information. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to To be foolish or not

  1. indyflick says:

    In general I agree with your thesis that the big brands will win over the upstarts in the EVSE marketplace. We will likely see some M&A as the EVSE market quickly matures. Also, you’ll start to see dirt cheap Level 2 EVSEs from China appearing on Ebay for $150. New home construction will have Level 2 EVSE as an option. Maybe it should be code that all new residential garages have a 240v 40a circuit pre-wired for an EVSE.

    I think you need to break the EVSE market into at least two distinct segments, commercial infrastructure and residential. Coulomb Technologies is a player in both markets. ECOtality also have early traction in both segments with the EV Project. However ECOtality has stumbled out of the gate and they really need to get their act together. ECOtality is 18 months into their EV Project DoE contract and they have very little to show for their efforts. Maybe a few dozen residential installations and no infrastructure. (Although on their EV Project maps they claim some old paddle EVSEs installed a decade ago as EV Project, give me a break) At this point the DoE should consider shutting the EV Project down and rebidding it. I know ECOtality had issues with the Blink and UL. But that was a product design issue. ECOtality should have developed a very simple EVSE with modular interfaces for the advanced features. The very basic EVSE should have been submitted to UL and would have been approved and listed very quickly. Derivative products using the interfaces, for advanced features such as WiFi, could be added later and wouldn’t require UL (they require other certs such as FCC, but only at the module level not the EVSE level). But ECOtality submitted a full featured Blink to UL and it was so complex it took UL a very long time to test and list it. Meantime other very simple EVSEs sailed through UL. That is why ECOtality actually had to have Clipper Creek EVSEs installed in EV Project participants homes. I know of no EV Project public infrastructure installed as yet, not a single EVSE. Why wasn’t ECOtality stubbing out thousands of 240V circuits in public locations for the last 18 months, ahead of their EVSE being UL listed and quantities mass produced? Then they could, within hours, connect their EVSE and provision it. As it stands now they are basically starting from scratch. It’s time to hit the reset.

  2. Frank Twohy says:

    I tend to agree with Indyflick. I get lots of press releases about new EVSE roll out areas from ECOtality but despite multiple requests have not received any actual information on charging locations in San Diego County. I read many that Leaf owners are some what disapointed with the driving range. A robust charging infrastructure would mitagate many of the concerns they have. It was my understanding the charging stations were to be in place by the end of this fiscal year, clearly that target will not be met.

    • indyflick says:

      Frank, today the only charging infrastructure in San Diego is at the Nissan dealerships. I have actually taken advantage of that on several occasions.

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