How does ChargePoint make money?

  • ChargePoint is an American company that provides electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in 14 countries. The company was founded by five visionaries who saw the potential of electric vehicles before most others.
  • The majority of ChargePoint revenue comes from the sale of its charging infrastructure. Note that the company does not make any money from charging individual batteries.
  • Instead, revenue is derived from cloud service subscriptions and a maintenance program. The revenue from both streams can be maximized by ChargePoint increasing the size of its infrastructure client base.

Background

ChargePoint is an American company that provides electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in 14 countries. The company was founded in 2007 by Dave Baxter, Praveen Mandal, Harjinder S. Bhade, Milton T. Tormey, and Richard Lowenthal.

ChargePoint was founded at a time when few understood the future potential of electric vehicles. To compound matters, each co-founder had technical and leadership experience from prior roles but most of them had never founded been involved in a start-up. Initially, Lowenthal served as the team’s de facto leader as ChargePoint spent the first two years developing the technology and pitching it to potential investors and customers.

The ChargePoint network was officially unveiled in California in 2008 where charging infrastructure was located at numerous gas stations. Networks were then installed in Australia and the Netherlands in 2009 as the company secured a small round of funding.

In 2011, Pasquale Romano was appointed as CEO. Despite increased buzz around electric vehicles, they nevertheless comprised just 0.1% of all vehicle sales in the United States when Romano took the helm. With so few EVs on the road, he faced an industry that was largely unsupportive of investing in the company’s infrastructure. It was also difficult to attract the necessary talent and scale ChargePoint quickly enough that investors would not lose interest. 

Romano was undeterred, however, because believed in the premise of electric vehicles and in his ability to scale the idea. Before going public via the SPAC route in 2021, he managed to raise $660 million from private investors and helped the company reach a point where talent acquisition and further funding were no longer problematic.

Today, someone plugs into the ChargePoint network every two seconds with around 113 million charges delivered to date. The company expects revenue for the fiscal year 2023 to be somewhere between $450 and $500 million.

ChargePoint revenue generation

ChargePoint revenue is derived from hardware sales, cloud service subscriptions, and fees from maintenance services.

Hardware sales

Perhaps intuitively, ChargePoint makes most of its money from the sale of its charging infrastructure to individuals, businesses, and governments. In addition to the stations one commonly sees in a parking lot or gas station, ChargePoint also sells residential products that allow consumers to charge their vehicles at home.

Note that ChargePoint does not collect revenue from the charge itself. Clients receive 100% of the proceeds and, in some cases, may choose to offer the electricity for free.

Cloud service subscriptions

While ChargePoint does not collect revenue from individual charges, it does upsell cloud-based subscriptions to its fleet and commercial clients. Ostensibly, these plans allow the client to operate and customize the station according to their specific needs.

Features include:

  • Customizable pricing based on time, energy use, charge duration, or driver group.
  • A selection of 35 charts and analytics for performance and management reporting.
  • Integration with asset management systems, telematics, and fleet fuel cards.

Cloud service subscriptions are charged monthly, with the exact fee depending on the nature and scope of the client’s needs.

Maintenance services

ChargePoint Assure is the name given to ChargePoint’s comprehensive EV station maintenance and management program. This may include on-site repairs, 24/7 monitoring, remote troubleshooting, unlimited software configuration changes, and technical dispatch if required.

Clients can purchase up to five years’ cover and, like the cloud service subscription, is available for a custom monthly fee.

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