EV Connect wants to take some of the sting out of installing a plug-in vehicle charging station. The company, which makes cloud-based software designed to manage EV charging "ecosystems," has teamed up with financing provider SparkFund and charging-station-maker General Electric to create a monthly payment system for charging stations. In short, businesses and government entities can get charging stations installed in their parking lots starting at just $99 a month.

The program applies to GE's WattStation (up to $179 a month) and DuraStation ($199) charging stations and is called "EV Charging-as-a-Service" (EV CaaS). There are some upfront costs for installation, but the bulk of the payments get wrapped up into monthly agreement. Another benefit is that businesses that enroll can now classify the installment as a business expenses instead of a capital expenditure, so there's an ongoing tax benefit. EV Connect started working on a joint marketing program with GE earlier this year, and you can see more at the official website.

We've been reporting on Southern California-based EV Connect since 2011, when the company was slated to become the "exclusive EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) services provider" for the Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in, but we can't say that status is terribly valuable right now.

Still, more than one million electric-vehicle chargers were deployed last year, EV Connect says, citing IHS, and that number may grow by a factor of 12 by the end of the decade. That could make the company's business a pretty good proposition. Take a look at EV Connect's press release below.
Show full PR text
EV Connect Launches First-Ever EV Charging-as-a-Service

Stations start at $99/month with pay-as-you go financing, all-in-one management

LOS ANGELES CA, September 17, 2015 – EV Connect, a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, including development of the industry's most innovative cloud-based software platform for managing the EV charging eco-system, today announced the first-ever "EV Charging-as-a-Service" or "EV CaaS", to cut up-front costs and simplify the process for purchasing and installing EV charging station infrastructure by turning the purchase decision from a capital expenditure to an operating expense.

In collaboration with GE and SparkFund, the EV CaaS program starts at $99 per month per charge station port (not including installation), which includes GE's full line of WattStationTM and DuraStationTM EV charging stations, and EV Connect's base management software and service. The new EV CaaS service offers business owners and government entities a full-service resource to assist with financing, deployment and management of EV charging solutions. EV Connect has also launched an online resource for customers at www.EVCaaS.com

"The single biggest hesitation facility owners have when considering EV charging station installation is up-front cost", said Jordan Ramer, EV Connect President. "The EV CaaS program, in collaboration with SparkFund and GE, offers a pay-as-you go alternative to capital purchases and greatly simplifies the decision-making process."

EV Connect is the first EV solution provider to offer a turn-key solution from procurement to installation to EV payment management and maintenance as an operating expense without up- front capital investment. The solution is powered by SparkFund financing and EV Connect's management software. In addition to handling the procurement, installation and permitting, EV Connect will manage all aspects of the charging station ecosystem and service, including driver support, station management and usage.

"Welcome to a new world of financing for EV charging infrastructure," said Pier LaFarge, SparkFund Co-founder and CEO. "EV CaaS puts EV charging within reach of any facility by shifting financing from an upfront capital expenditures to a pay-over-time operating expense."

Earlier this year, EV Connect entered into a joint marketing and product agreement with GE to provide customers with GE's highly reliable charge stations, EV Connect's robust management platform, and the efficient interoperability between all of the components.

"This new turn-key financing solution will further the effort to provide cost-effective solutions to enable EV charging networks to grow," said Seth Cutler, Senior Product Manager, Growth Initiatives for GE's Industrial Solutions business. "The industry is increasingly looking for a simplified, cost-effective and efficient approach to building an EV charging infrastructure which includes ongoing service for this equipment."

The North American EV charging market is a growing but underserved industry segment. Navigant Research estimates annual U.S. plug-in EV sales will exceed 1.1 million annually by 2024, up from 133,000 in 2014. IHS estimates over one million chargers were deployed in 2014 and forecasts this will grow to 12.7 million chargers by the end of this decade.

About EV Connect
EV Connect has created the most innovative, robust and feature-rich cloud-based software platform for managing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, their interaction with utilities and the driver experience. The company leverages this software platform to also be a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for commercial, enterprise, hospitality, university and government facilities. Established in 2009, EV Connect's customers include Yahoo!, Marriott, Western Digital, 21st Century Fox, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York Power Authority, and numerous municipalities.For more information, please visit www.evconnect.com.

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