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Electric-car charging program hits speed bump

Nissan’s plan to let buyers of its electric Leaf recharge their cars for free may be in jeopardy, after the country’s largest charging station network announced Tuesday it was dropping out of the program.

ChargePoint, based in Campbell, will not take part in the EZ-Charge promotion, expected to start this summer in the Bay Area and a handful of other markets nationwide.

The promotion gives Leaf drivers two years of free access to charging stations run by multiple companies, with drivers using a single EZ-Charge card to plug into any station. But ChargePoint on Tuesday accused one of the other participating networks – NRG eVgo – of using the program to gain information on ChargePoint’s customers.

“They want to monopolize the relationship with the driver,” said ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano. “I think this is their attempt to gain some relevance in the market.”

ChargePoint operates more than 17,000 chargers nationwide, while eVgo has 98 stations, each of which typically has several chargers. NRG eVgo is a subsidiary of NRG, a large electricity company with operations across the country.


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