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The 2018 accounts for Ecotricity's The Electric Highway came out at the end of December, and don't make for happy reading. Losses have increased from -£680k in 2017 to -£830k in 2018. Moreover, actual sales of electricity to drivers charging their cars increased slowly, from £458k to £582k in what is supposed to be a high growth industry. They also took a big impairment hit on their fixed assets, basically a recognition that on £314k of the £2million they have spent on chargers they will never get their money back. From a recent FT article it seems there is a general restlessness about them having a monopoly of motorway chargers but not investing quickly enough....I believe this is known as 'first mover disadvantage'. The FT is behind a firewall but the guts of its report are here.... UK’s largest EV charge point provider criticised
 

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I'm not surprised, I recently had 12 FVs in a row, some of them asked for credit card details to start but charged me £0.00:confused: I though I had the 13th until I found the receipt in my spam folder.:(

I don't understand the deal with Ikea either, I charged with the Type 2 (because there is no CCS) at MK, got charged 86p then Ikea gave me £6 off my shopping, I ended up paying £1.18 for a few bits and bobs, I'm not complaining but it doesn't make sense, I am an EcoT customer so already get half price leccy anyway, very bizarre but a happy bizarre for me:D
 

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They need to get it sorted or let another company take over,motorway services should have several chargers at each site now.not just one or two in general that might work and out of hours your stuffed.

Agree,they are holding things back now but full credit for getting it going in the first place.
 

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Difficult to make a profit when so many of your chargers are on free vend. I drove all the way from Staffordshire to Dover and back at the weekend without paying for a single electron:

Newport Pagnell S - both chargers on FV
Thurrock - two chargers on FV
Dover (Lidl - free, doesn't count)
Cobham - two chargers on FV
Clacket Lane W - no FV but the receipt was for £0.00
Cherwell Valley - one charger on FV

It may only be one charger per site on free vend but you can guess which one people will use (assuming they have a choice because of the limited connector types on EH)
 

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Moreover, actual sales of electricity to drivers charging their cars increased slowly, from £458k to £582k in what is supposed to be a high growth industry....
A 27% increase - is that over the year? What sort of growth would you want? Most companies would give their right arms for that sort of growth.

Don't forget that the growth in EVs will be in longer range cars - those that don't need to charge so often. I travel infrequently from Bedford to the Peak District. In the Leaf 24 I needed 3 charges for the return journey, with the Leaf 30 I needed 2 charges, with the Leaf 40 I need - none (or maybe one, if I need to travel elsewhere the same day). So that is your growth.

It just makes the point I've been banging on about since I've had an EV - currently, there is no business model for a charger network that will work. This is all about grabbing of market share until it does become profitable, and a lot of the charger networks will fall by the wayside between now and then.
 

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The model 3 having CCS does greatly improve the business model for changing networks other then EH, as moterway travel is already covered well by superchargers.
 

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A 27% increase - is that over the year? What sort of growth would you want? Most companies would give their right arms for that sort of growth.

Don't forget that the growth in EVs will be in longer range cars - those that don't need to charge so often. I travel infrequently from Bedford to the Peak District. In the Leaf 24 I needed 3 charges for the return journey, with the Leaf 30 I needed 2 charges, with the Leaf 40 I need - none (or maybe one, if I need to travel elsewhere the same day). So that is your growth.

It just makes the point I've been banging on about since I've had an EV - currently, there is no business model for a charger network that will work. This is all about grabbing of market share until it does become profitable, and a lot of the charger networks will fall by the wayside between now and then.
Chargepoints may never be particularly profitable. It's the shops, cafes etc you use while waiting that will make the money. That's a perfectly sustainable model (and one clearly being pursued by BP and Shell). Also sustainable is the Tesla/Ionity model of manufacturers building a network and effectively part-pricing it into the cars. The Ecotricity model was great when it started but it is plainly stuttering now.
 

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Those numbers don't look bad. When you consider the value of their assets - the locations and existing long term contracts, the experience they have running them. As EV ownership grows the market will continue to expand and they are in a good position.
 

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The FT article is a fair assessment of the current situation.

EH has some bad units and is making a loss. They haven't done much since the build out. Dale has promised to replace the 30 least reliable pumps.


The well funded competition wants them off the services. They say they have the money to do a better job.
 

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This is another reason that the charge points themselves should be part of national infrastructure and the electricity sold via the existing companies who buy it wholesale and set their own prices, just as we do for home electric and gas.
That way the National Grid can be responsible for the assets, connect new chargers to the grid, but also strategically install battery storage at those locations so they can help balance the grid at peak times.
Maybe the electricity generators can get in on the act too and install solar and wind farms close to the storage/chargers. Motorway services could have solar roofs over the car parks, that’s a lot of solar.

At least in my mind that’s how I’d do it.
 

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Yay another EH hate thread

Hopefully they'll get somewhere as they upgrade the chargers and not have everything on free vend. The main issue seems to be that they don't want to invest (even in sending someone to fit a more reliable mobile data connection unit) because they're not seeing the numbers. And they're not seeing the numbers because most of their chargers are failing to communicate to the mothership, an issue that they're in denial of. Chicken and egg...
 

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Yay another EH hate thread

Hopefully they'll get somewhere as they upgrade the chargers and not have everything on free vend. The main issue seems to be that they don't want to invest (even in sending someone to fit a more reliable mobile data connection unit) because they're not seeing the numbers. And they're not seeing the numbers because most of their chargers are failing to communicate to the mothership. Chicken and egg...
They did a systemwide restart a few weeks ago, all the local chargers came out of free vend. Now they’re slowly but surely going back into free vend. Two out of the three at Lymm services were free last night, there were 3 cars charging and one waiting.
 

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The decision to use apps for collecting the fees has cost them big time IMO, I avoid using them, and have spoke to other EV owners who have said they will never use them until they accept card payment. one elderly guy I met at a Nissan charge point said I'm too old for faffing about with phones.
 

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Surely the point is, you can only sell a product and make money if it’s half decent and works. CCS chargers are a joke up to now. Missing from many MSAs and fail on others. This results in potential customers voting with their feet.

When I started driving electric 28 months ago, I assumed that I could just stop at an EH charger in an MSA and it would work. Now I don’t bother, I look elsewhere for Polar or Insta.
 

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EV charging will never make anyone any money. The only way to make it pay is to use it to drive sales from associated retail or refreshment facilities, or as a brand builder or other indirect benefit (such as Tesla or Ionity removing psychological barriers to people buying consortium members' EVs). The problem surely for EH is that it can't be very effective in pushing the Ecotricity brand if people are cheesed off with the service.
 

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EV charging will never make anyone any money. The only way to make it pay is to use it to drive sales from associated retail or refreshment facilities, or as a brand builder or other indirect benefit (such as Tesla or Ionity removing psychological barriers to people buying consortium members' EVs). The problem surely for EH is that it can't be very effective in pushing the Ecotricity brand if people are cheesed off with the service.
Yes. I suspect the business plan for networks is to spend cash building the network and then flog it to someone like Whitbread who can build a bunch of coffee shops and restaurants around them.

Captive market. :)
 
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