The leading strength of the three American charging pile operators
The charging pile industry chain involves complex types of business subjects. In addition to new energy vehicle enterprises and electrical equipment companies, service companies are also involved, with diversified operating and profit models, which are still in the exploratory stage.
From the perspective of the charging pile market in the United States, as of April 2022, the ratio of car piles in the American market is 21.2:1. In February of the same year, the U.S. government announced a plan to allocate nearly $5 billion to build thousands of new energy vehicle charging stations within five years, which ushered in a rapid development of the U.S. charging pile market.
Typical asset-light operation model：
Founded in 2007, California-based ChargePoint is one of the world's first charging station operators and one of the first to go public. ChargePoint, which has a market share of more than 75 percent in the United States, has 112,800 charging stations globally and plans to build 2.5 million by 2025. The range of ChargePoint charging ports matches the standard SAECombo (BMW, Volkswagen, etc.) used in Europe and CHAdeMO (Nissan, etc.) used in Japan.
ChargePoint is a professional charging post operator with a typical asset-light model. The revenue of ChargePoint is mainly composed of the sales of connected charging post products and the service fees and operation and maintenance fees generated by customers using connected charging posts.
Charging pile products are sold in conjunction with the network charging system.
ChargePoint, which accounts for 72.14% of revenue, does not sell chargepoint products that are not connected to its charging system. ChargePoint does not own or own charging posts and stations, nor does it generate revenue from selling electricity, nor does it generate revenue from parking fees at charging stations.
In other words, ChargePoint is not dependent on usage and station building, but is a network system service for charging post/station owners. So ChargePoint has a differentiated business model compared to other companies or operators. As customers take ownership of the charging infrastructure, ChargePoint can focus its capital on product development, customer engagement and retention to drive product innovation and market competitiveness.
Subscription services meet the needs of different types of customers.
Service fees and O&M fees generated using ChargePoint's system constitute the subscription business. ChargePoint's subscription revenue reached $53.512 million in fiscal 2021, or 22.2% of total revenue. ChargePoint is a network charging service tailored to private, private and social market segments, with different management systems and subscription models, enabling owners to choose their own charging models.
Mainly selling charging pile products and electricity
Blink Charging was founded in 2009 and is based in Florida, USA. Unlike ChargePoint, Blink's main revenue sources are charging post sales and charging fees, of which charging post sales account for 73.93%. Blink's own charging stations account for the second largest share of revenue, at 14.22%. Second, Blink also has income from other businesses, such as advertising and ride-sharing.
Blink owners can run, maintain and track various Blink EV charging stations and related billing data by using Blink's software, Blink Network. In order to obtain more revenue from the charging pile business and reflect Blink's continuous competitive advantage in the charging pile market, Blink provides its consumers/partners with a variety of charging equipment and services, which is mainly different from which party bears the installation, equipment and maintenance costs.
Cooperative mode 1: self-operated mode
In the self-operating mode, Blink invests in and installs charging equipment, and connects charging piles under this business model with all charging stations owned and operated by Blink. In this model, which favors recurring revenue, Blink keeps essentially all of its charging revenue after deducting network connection and other expenses.
Cooperation Mode 2: Joint venture mode
In the joint venture mode, Blink invests in charging equipment, while the partners bear the installation costs, and connect the charging piles under this business mode to all charging stations owned and operated by Blink. In this model, Blink shares electric vehicle charging revenue with its partners after deducting network connection and processing costs.
Cooperative mode 3: Hosting mode
In the hosting mode, partners invest, install, own and operate Blink charging piles/stations. Blink works with partners to provide site recommendation, payment and maintenance services by connecting to the Blink network. Under this model, all charging income goes to the partners, except for network connection costs and maintenance costs.
Cooperation mode 4: Leasing mode
In the leasing model, Blink owns and operates electric vehicle charging stations, while its partners bear the installation costs. The partners pay Blink a flat monthly fee and keep all charging revenue after network connection and processing costs are deducted.
Integrated development of pile & Layout of C-end market
Blink also operates a ride-sharing program through its wholly-owned subsidiary BlueLA Rideshare, LLC (" BlueLA ") and the City of Los Angeles, where customers can rent electric vehicles through a subscription service.
In addition, Blink is further entering the private charging pile market, developing C-end users, and selling low-power AC charging piles online through various Internet channels, such as Amazon, Walmart.com, Lowes.com and other platforms.
The largest quick-charge network in the United States
EVgo, founded in 2010 and headquartered in California, was listed on Nasdaq via SPAC in July 2021. Different from the first two companies, EVgo focuses on DC fast charging products, and EVgo owns and operates the largest public DC fast charging network in the United States, which is a pioneer in the field of fast charging.
Capital and market analysis
Charging pile enterprise loss, but still by the market
Based on the annual statements of the three companies/operators in FY2021, the profitability of the companies and the degree of market optimism can be compared and analyzed.
> > ChargePoint has the largest revenue
Since ChargePoint is an early business player with a much higher market share than the other two companies, ChargePoint has the best revenue stream. Blink, on the other hand, has the worst revenue capacity of the three, with total revenue of $20.94 million in fiscal 2021, more than $1 million less than EVgo's total revenue. EVgo's gross profit is the only negative one, indicating that the company's costs are higher than its revenue. In summary, according to the revenue statement, all three companies are in the red in FY2021, among which ChargePoint has the highest gross margin and EVgo has the highest cost expenditure.
Considering that the charging pile enterprise is still in the state of burning cash, this paper uses the price-to-sales ratio (PS) as the valuation index. Therefore, it can be seen from the above table that the PS of Blink and EVgo are 22.53 and 21.76 times respectively, higher than the ChargePoint. In other words, in the US capital market, the asset-heavy mode of holding charging piles/stations is more favorable, so the capital market gives Blink and EVgo a higher valuation.
EVgo has a flexible business model that generates revenue from a variety of businesses. The foundation of the company's business is the construction and operation of electric vehicle charging stations, through which it provides charging services for users at the C and B terminals.
Public charging pile service
Drivers charge by using EVgo public charging posts. EVgo offers its customers a variety of options, with drivers being able to pay as a member (a monthly fee with a reduced price per minute or kilowatt-hour), as a subscription service or as a non-member. Drivers use EVgo's APP, the vehicle's navigation system or a third-party database to find charging points. EVgo installs its charging posts on commercial land or in public parking Spaces. EVgo and merchants hope to attract tenants, employees and customers with charging points.
Working with the Oems
EVgo is a pioneer in automotive charging programs that can meet the business development goals of various automotive companies. EVgo directly contracts with Oems to connect electric vehicles produced by Oems to EVgo's public charging pile network to provide charging services for drivers who buy or rent cars. Other related services EVgo currently provides to Oems include co-marketing, data services and digital application services. EVgo regards its relationships with auto companies as its core customer acquisition channel.
Special charging pile business
Customers with fleets, such as logistics companies, can access EVgo's public network through EVgo's charging points. Pricing of charging services is usually negotiated directly between EVgo and dedicated customers based on actual business needs and usage patterns. EVgo contracts and pays bills directly with dedicated customers or fleet drivers who use EVgo charging points. By tapping into EVgo's public network, fleet operators can accelerate the process of electrification and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without having to invest directly in charging infrastructure.
In addition to charging services, EVgo develops and operates a variety of digital software for its customers. These products currently include application customization, billing data integration, advertising services, and smart billing. EVgo also provides maintenance services and project management services, including installation, networking and operation of charging piles. EVgo will also continue to evaluate and participate in potential market opportunities outside of these business models.
Carbon emission index trading
In California and Oregon, EVgo makes part of its revenue by selling carbon credits through the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (" LCFS ") program. EVgo earns credits by selling electricity and sells those credits to entities that are obligated to buy them, either through the program or through an exchange. EVgo's management is actively discussing the feasibility of the LCFS program with other states, including Massachusetts, New York, Colorado, Washington and New Mexico.