ClipperCreek expands its EV charging business to the NW
By Lee van der Voo
Sustainable Business Oregon contributing writer
ClipperCreek makes electric vehicle chargers for Tesla owner among others.
ClipperCreek Inc., an Auburn, Calif.-based manufacturer of EV charging stations, is looking to expand sales in Oregon and Washington, and has nabbed Barry Woods, board member of Drive Oregon, to develop its Pacific Northwest territory.
ClipperCreek’s products differ from their Northwest competition in that the company doesn’t involve itself in electricity sales. ClipperCreek stations are a hardware-only product. That differs from many other charging station providers, companies that eventually plan to charge subscription fees, club memberships or mark-ups on electricity at public chargers.
“You have to join the club to use the system. We don’t think the market can sustain that,” said ClipperCreek President Dave Packard. “We don’t think that’s good for the industry.”
The company is instead marketing its chargers direct to manufacturers and to public agencies, companies and retailers interested in offering a charging outlet. Drivers who fuel up can swipe a credit card and pay base rates for electricity, or power can be offered compliments of the installer.
The company has been in business since the early 90s, first operating as Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. Reborn as ClipperCreek in 2006, it is partnered with several auto companies that pair its charging stations with cars, including Mercedes-Benz’s Smart Fortwo Electric, BMW’s Mini E, the Tesla Roadster, Smith Electric Vehicles and Think Global’s Think City.
ClipperCreek hasn’t, however, entered Pacific Northwest Territory in the past or partnered with manufacturers here.
“Even though the cars came here, we didn’t come here to the Pacific Northwest because it was a major focus of the (Department of Energy) money with ARRA grants. Free money is hard to fight,” said Packard, referring to the EV Project and its main electric vehicle charging station supplier ECOtality.
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