EV Charging Station Company Files To Shut down Operations Immediately

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: May 16, 2024

After electric vehicle sales remained stagnant, a company responsible for building super chargers filed to close their business immediately.

More than 1 million electric vehicles were purchased last year. However, the sales are not enough to keep the supporting businesses afloat. EVs only account for 7.6 percent of the auto industry’s sales.

Many Buyers Still Choosing Gas-Powered Cars

The savings associated with charging instead of buying gas are a main attraction for customers who purchase electric vehicles.

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An E-Z Trip gas station surrounded by palm trees. A white van is also pictured

Source: motyame/Unsplash

However, over 90% of customers buying new cars in the past 12 months have selected gas-powered cars or hybrids. The challenges associated with the electric market are overwhelming, and many think they’re not going away.

Issues Preventing Customers From Purchasing EVs

Consumers have shown how worried they are about purchasing electric vehicles. More than 10 common issues have stopped buyers from making a different choice.

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A wide shot of an electric car charging in a parking lot

Source: (Kindel Media/Pexels

Some of the concerns noted are fear of fire, high sale prices, the availability of EV repair options, and costly battery replacements. For some people, the process is too new to make the switch comfortably. 

Lack of Charging Options Is a Huge Turnoff

Another issue that many encounter after switching to electric is the lack of charging ports near them. When they can find a station, many are full for extended periods of time, as the cars take half an hour or longer to fully charge.

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Multiple Tesla cars charging at Supercharger stations lined up in an urban setting with modern buildings and trees in the background

Source: Tesla/X

Even with the option to charge the vehicle at home, many people lack the driveway necessary for easy charging access, as many cities do not allow power cords to be draped over the curb.

Electric Companies Are Not Necessarily Better for the Environment

Electric vehicles are certainly better for emitting less fumes while driving. But what about the companies that produce them?

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Two black sedans sit in front of a large factory with the word "TESLA" embossed in large black letters

Source: Steve Jurvetson/Wikipedia Commons

In the past three years, Tesla has faced multiple lawsuits and accusations of illegally dumping harmful chemicals into the environment near their manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. The company recently settled a lawsuit for more than $1.2 million in response to the fumes associated with the painting process.

Supercharging Business Is Down

Tesla, the majority shareholder of the EV market, recently made a drastic decision regarding their supercharger team.

Several cars in different colors are parked in front of a row of Tesla super chargers on a rainy day

Source: Cnyor/Wikipedia Commons

Elon Musk, the company’s billionaire owner, laid off Tesla’s senior director of electric vehicle charging, Rebecca Tinucci, and more than 500 people on her team. Reports of the incident claim that Tinucci defied Musk’s orders by pushing back on his desire for further layoffs. Tinucci claimed further layoffs would hurt her division; Musk retaliated by firing her and the entire team. 

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Superchargers Should Be the Better Option

After introducing the supercharger to the market, many Tesla drivers used these charging ports exclusively.

A black charging port for electric vehicles sits on a side walk next to a parking area

Source: Roger Starnes/Unsplash

The fast working stations charged a Tesla in about 15 minutes and added more than 200 miles of range.

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Musk Backpedaling on Decision

After two weeks, Musk realized that his massive mistake would have a downward effect on his company’s revenue shares.

Elon Musk rests his head on his hands during a press event

Source: Flickr

He reportedly tried to hire back a large portion of the 500 laid-off workers. Many of the scorned workers had already been poached by competing companies like BP, which is working to add chargers to its gas stations.

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Massive EV Charging Company Files to Shutter Operations

FreeWire Technologies, a major player in the electric vehicle charging market, filed to close its headquarters and lay off all 113 employees by June 24th. 

A group of men wearing business attire stand in the parking lot of a building in front of a FreeWire charging port

Source: @WhatLayoff/X

The sudden decision was filed on April 24th. According to the U.S. Department of Labor WARN guidelines, companies that employ more than 100 people and wish to lay off 50 must provide at least 60 calendar days of advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff.

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The Company Needs an Immediate Cash Infusion

The company’s owners and executives have noted that although they plan to completely shutter their headquarters because of cash flow issues, they hope to grow in the future.

A white car hooked up to a black and green charging port in a parking lot

Source: @evmagz/X

The company will cease to exist if it does not receive additional capital to continue operations.

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Chargers Already Pulled From Europe

Although the company states that they hope to grow in the future, they have shrunk immensely in the past year.

A silver and black car parked in a lot hooked up to a large black portable charging station

Source: @AnonOffGrid/X

The company provides charging ports to convenience stores and other business sites. On May 3rd, it closed operations in Europe. An exec noted that it wished to withdraw from all non-North American markets.

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Technology Curve and Failed Field Service

A former employee of FreeWire, James Jean-Louis, noted that the company’s failure in the European market and losses stem from its failure to provide adequate support to customers and resolve technical disruptions in an adequate amount of time.

A silver car hooked up to a blue and white Chevron charging station

Source: @RenewableSearch/X

New and emerging technologies often have stark learning curves and difficult-to-fix issues. Companies must work with customer needs to become well-known in the electric car charging market.

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