Why AeroVironment is an EV Charger Company to Watch


Elec­tric vehi­cle charg­ing solu­tions provider to be the pre­ferred instal­la­tion part­ner and autho­rized charg­ing sta­tion sup­pli­er for its plug-ins – Ford Focus Elec­tric and the C-Max Ener­gi and Fusion Ener­gi plug-in hybrids. Cus­tomers will get a 240-volt charg­er and sched­ule a turnkey pro­fes­sion­al instal­la­tion after mak­ing a call to AeroVi­ron­ment (with a web-based option soon to come). AeroVi­ron­ment also brings its nation­wide net­work of cer­ti­fied installers and a three-year onsite parts and labor war­ran­ty. (Plus, an inno­v­a­tive, afford­able charg­er offer­ing from Bosch – more on that lat­er.)

AeroVi­ron­ment, based in Mon­rovia, Calif., has become the leader in the field – hav­ing installed 11,000 charg­ing sta­tions (home, pub­lic, and work­place). Two of its com­peti­tors – Charge­Point and ECO­tal­i­ty – have deployed US Depart­ment of Ener­gy-grant fund­ed instal­la­tions, but AeroVi­ron­ment has surged for­ward through its part­ner­ship with the Nis­san Leaf and oth­er cus­tomers who are very famil­iar with the diverse com­pa­ny known for its tech­nol­o­gy exper­tise. AeroVi­ron­ment plays a lead­ing role in sup­ply­ing the US Dept. of Defense and its mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tions with elec­tric-pow­ered unmanned air­craft sys­tems (aka drones). In the ear­ly 1990s, AeroVi­ron­ment worked with Gen­er­al Motors on an elec­tric vehi­cle test pro­gram that became the EV1 elec­tric car.

The Ford pro­gram is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent than the deal­er pro­gram AeroVi­ron­ment announced at the Nation­al Auto­mo­bile Deal­ers Asso­ci­a­tion con­ven­tion ear­li­er this year. Those buy­ing a bat­tery elec­tric vehi­cle or plug-in hybrid have the option of financ­ing the charg­er in com­bi­na­tion with the vehi­cle at the time of sale. Deal­ers can now offer a one-stop shop expe­ri­ence for EV dri­vers. Deal­ers can offer var­i­ous “bumper-to-bumper” war­ran­ty options for the charg­ers that match the financ­ing terms of the vehi­cle. Charg­ers bought through the deal­er pro­gram are installed by a licensed elec­tri­cian cer­ti­fied in EV charg­ing instal­la­tion in all 50 states.

Nis­san is work­ing with AeroVi­ron­ment on this pro­gram, and the charg­ing sta­tion mak­er may do some­thing sim­i­lar with BMW, Mit­subishi, and oth­er OEMs. Ford’s alliance with AeroVi­ron­ment is very sim­i­lar to the one-stop financ­ing pro­gram with Nis­san. Ford is see­ing grad­ual increas­es in EV sales, and is get­ting a lot of atten­tion with its C-Max Ener­gi and Fusion Ener­gi plug-in hybrids. It wouldn’t be sur­pris­ing to see oth­er major OEMs announce sim­i­lar sup­pli­er agree­ments with AeroVi­ron­ment.

Then, there’s also Bosch to pay atten­tion to…

In this time of change for the EV infra­struc­ture, major auto­mo­tive sup­pli­er . The 240-volt Pow­er Max charg­er is about half the price of most oth­er Lev­el 2 charg­ers on the mar­ket. It comes in 16 amp and 30 amp ver­sions, and is UL-cer­ti­fied in both the US and Cana­da.

Bosch is tak­ing orders now and will ship­ping starts in ear­ly June. Buy­ers will begin receiv­ing them by the end of June. As a cus­tomer ser­vice, Bosch instal­la­tion ser­vices include a 3-year lim­it­ed prod­uct war­ran­ty, all per­mit­ting, and many times fil­ing rebate paper­work.



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