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Investors Sour On EV Charging Companies As Sales Flounder

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The companies that install and operate electric-vehicle charging networks are in the middle of a building boom, but their share prices are sputtering.

ChargePoint Holdings shares have tumbled 74% this year, and the company missed initial revenue projections for the third quarter.

Blink Charging shares have dropped 67%, while EVgo is down 21%, and both project annual losses. [emphasis, links added]

The charging providers don’t expect to turn profitable for about a year and face the prospect of EV market leader Tesla opening much of its popular charging network to other drivers starting in 2024.

The blistering pace of U.S. sales growth for EVs has moderated. Some charging executives say they are running into challenges that include customer unease about the direction of the economy, higher costs, and delayed deliveries of EVs to fleet customers.

Companies say that with more EVs hitting the road, their chargers are in use more steadily—an important metric for the burgeoning industry. However, selling jolts of electricity to drivers still isn’t a moneymaker because of relatively low use rates.

“I think the investor class has grown weary of the industry’s lack of profitability,” said Blink Charging’s chief executive, Brendan Jones, who added that charging stocks had previously frothy valuations.

EVgo executives recently told analysts they project profitability “in the next couple of years.” ChargePoint and Blink say their adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization will turn positive by late next year.

The non-Tesla charging industry is grappling with issues including equipment reliability and a chicken-and-egg challenge.

You need chargers to get people to buy EVs, but can’t make money on charging until there is a critical mass of drivers plugging in.

President Biden aims to have 500,000 public chargers in the ground by 2030. Consulting firm McKinsey estimates that around 1.5 million public chargers would be needed by then if half of the car sales were electric.

The U.S. has around 159,000 public charging ports now at 60,000 locations, according to government data.

Read rest at WSJ

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