On Monday, PG&E announced it had filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission to build out a network of 25,000 electric car charging stations. (Earlier post.) In response, Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint—currently the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network—issued a statement charging that the PG&E proposal “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.—Pasquale Romano
PG&E plans to have its ratepayers fund the proposed $654-million build out.
ChargePoint said that it believes utilities should play a significant role in the EV industry, and pointed to the approach taken by Southern California Edison—installing electric infrastructure—as an example. This approach protects customer choice and encourages continued innovation in EV charging hardware, network and services, ChargePoint said.