Well, we found one entity that isn't happy with Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) plan to help build out a massive network of plug-in vehicle charging stations throughout California. That would be charging-station provider ChargePoint. No touchy-feely peaceful environmentalists here, folks.

ChargePoint is taking issue with PG&E for what it says will create "a monopoly in EV charging equipment and services" that will restrain growth and innovation in the industry. ChargePoint pointed to Southern California Edison as a California utility that appeared to take a more collaborative approach with the private market in terms of expanding plug-in charging station availability.

Earlier this week, PG&E said it would build out the infrastructure to allow the deployment of about 25,000 plug-in vehicle charging stations throughout the utility's Northern and Central California service area, with almost all of those stations planned as Level 2 and about 100 as fast-charging stations.

Of course, ChargePoint isn't exactly small potatoes either. The closely-held California company has its own network of more than 20,000 chargers and says its stations have helped customers reduce their collective gas use by 6.9 million gallons. Last month, German automakers BMW and Volkswagen reached a partnership agreement with ChargePoint for 100 DC fast chargers to be deployed on the US coasts. Take a look at ChargePoint's press release about the PG&E plan below.
Show full PR text
ChargePoint: PG&E Proposal Bad For Ratepayers, Drivers and EV Industry

CAMPBELL, CALIF.– Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint – the world's largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network – today issued the following statement in response to Pacific Gas and Electric's proposal to own and operate 25,100 new electric car charging stations by 2022:

"ChargePoint believes strongly that utilities should play an expanded role in the EV industry and the infrastructure that supports it. However, the proposal PG&E filed today creates a monopoly in EV charging equipment and services that will stifle growth and innovation in the market.

"Allowing one monopoly utility to define the EV charging hardware, network, pricing, features and everything in between, will reduce competition and innovation. Removing station owner choice will leave little incentive to innovate or provide better or more affordable services to consumers. ChargePoint has been successful because it supports flexibility for the site owner to decide what pricing and features are best for them to attract the EV driving public. Additionally, ChargePoint prides itself in providing the features required by EV drivers for a seamless driving and charging experience.

"PG&E's proposal will hamper the industry, is bad for ratepayers, bad for EV drivers and bad for California's emissions reduction goals."

ChargePoint believes utilities should play a significant role in the EV industry. The right approach as taken by Southern California Edison, allows utilities to do what they do best – install electrical infrastructure. This approach protects customer choice and encourages continued innovation in EV charging hardware, network and services.

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