Wall Street Journal Piece Brings Up Questions… And We Answer

June 14, 2021 4:37 pm

Stephen Wilmot’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Investors Look for an EV Charge,” debates the merits of investing in EV infrastructure, admitting that while chargers likely make for better investments than cars, the sector still holds many potential pitfalls that should be considered before jumping in. While that may be true, many of the examples backing up this assertion cite the business models of the largest EV installers in the country while failing to consider what less visible but faster-growing companies like EVCS are doing to mitigate such risks. Below are a few quotes from the article and our thoughts on them, including how we’re different.

Photo by Sarah Gilbert

“Charging-related companies should benefit from EV adoption, whichever vehicles dominate.”

This is true so long as charging companies offer the most convenient and current technology available. Our chargers feature both CHAdeMO and combo SAE J1772 / CCS1 connectors that can work with every EV on the road. Moreover, the majority of our new installations are DC fast chargers, complete with 50kW power, 6000 VAC surge protection and a better than 90% efficiency rating. While chargers may be a better overall bet than cars, they are not all created equal. Quality matters, and the best chargers will win out.

“Which companies are better placed: those that sell charging equipment or those that build and operate networks?”

The prevailing notion is that infrastructure companies need to conform to preexisting business models established by the “big boys,” but what has set us apart is our disdain for such conformity. Our turnkey approach includes sourcing and installing hardware as well as operating our own proprietary network, allowing us total control over the customer experience front to back. And by customers, we mean both site hosts and EV drivers. We also source funding for installations from government subsidies, often resulting in zero cost to the site host and negating the need to “sell.”

“Most EV charging is done at home, but that could change as US ownership broadens beyond Californians with garages.”

There are two salient points to note here. First, EV ownership will invariably broaden beyond California. And as that state’s fastest growing installer, we are well-positioned to carry such momentum to other states as the federal government invests more in infrastructure. Second, EV ownership will continue to broaden beyond homeowners. With more infrastructure at public places and apartment buildings, EV ownership will begin to feel more accessible to all and less like a luxury or novelty. Our model capitalizes on this trend.

“A double-digit return depends on the pace of EV adoption and the wisdom with which the company picks sites.”

We don’t “pick sites.” Our clients do. When a retail business, municipality or multi-unit dwelling reaches out to us, it’s because they see a demand, a need, an opportunity. Further, many of these properties are located in underserved communities that might not boast the level of traffic needed to attract larger installers, but nonetheless feature huge growth potential, positioning us to capture a new demographic as EVs become more prevalent. We simply offer a no-cost solution to sites that already understand the value of EV charging – whether that’s satisfying existing customers, driving a new income stream or protecting the environment – wherever they may be. Good financial returns, then, result from identifying clients’ needs and addressing them.

Wilmot’s entire Wall Street Journal article can be found here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-plug-into-electric-vehicle-chargers-11620032526

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