Electric vehicles are widely regarded as the solution to many of our energy problems and the direction that the global transportation industry has decided to take to replace conventionally fueled vehicles. Realizing that vision, however, requires massive adoption and wide availability of charging stations to enable mass-market confidence in electric fuel. ChargePoint is meeting that demand with innovative, electric-vehicle-infrastructure solutions consisting of cloud-based services and charging stations. ChargePoint is the creator of the ChargePoint® network, the largest independently owned network of electric vehicle charging stations and drivers. ChargePoint’s customers include municipalities, fleets, retailers and corporate organizations worldwide.

The ChargePoint network is founded on an open, standards-based architecture, providing both station owners and drivers with a flexible and consistent platform for electric-vehicle fueling. The network allows the integration of charging stations from multiple suppliers, providing station owners the freedom to choose the best charging options available and accommodating the evolving vehicle charging needs of today and tomorrow in any region of the globe.

The ChargePoint network is a cloud-based solution that handles all driver billing and support and gives station owners the control and flexibility they need to optimize performance of their electric-vehicle charging operations. This allows them to offer charging services at no cost or to bill for those services instantly and directly based on charging time, kilowatt hours or any other fee structure an owner can imagine.

Although the industry consensus today indicates that plug-in electric vehicles are the format for the mass market as vehicles evolve away from traditional liquid fuels, ChargePoint entered the electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure market in 2007 when this was not evident. At the time, many investors viewed electric vehicles and their supporting infrastructure as a niche market that did not promise massive adoption.

“Risk-taking used to be normal for the venture world, but when we raised our Series B round during a tough economy in 2009, we bumped up against a lot of aversion to risk, given the overall state of the economy,” said Richard Lowenthal, ChargePoint's founder and CTO. “We needed a venture partner who would buy into our vision, a firm that was looking for an industry opportunity as opposed to making an investment in one more company in an existing market.”

Rho Ventures seized the opportunity and led the $14M Series B round in summer 2009. “There is more ‘venture’ in the guys at Rho than many other VCs out there. They viewed their investment in us as part of creating an industry, not just another company.”

ChargePoint is the largest online network of independently owned charging stations, operating in more than 14 countries. ChargePoint customers include corporations such as Google, NetFlix, SAP, 3M, Adobe and Dell Corporation; utilities such as Reliant Energy, DTE Energy, Orlando Utilities Commission and Austin Energy in the U.S., Nuon in the Netherlands and ESB in Dublin and municipalities, including San Francisco and New York; Amsterdam; Newcastle, England and Bochum, Germany.