EVgo, the largest public fast charging network in the United States, has acquired Californian e-mobility software company Recargo, the developer of the hugely popular PlugShare app and website in use around the world.
The transaction will see EVgo pay $US25 million in an all-cash transaction, including a $US3 million loan repayment, to bring together Recargo’s app development with EVgo’s national public fast charging infrastructure.
Though the specifics of Recargo’s integration into EVgo was not made clear, the driving motivation behind the acquisition seems to be a talent acquisition.
Recargo’s PlugShare is a valuable tool for EV owners the world over, providing a map of crowdsourced EV charging data and reviews of charging infrastructure at over 52,000 public charging locations and over 133,000 chargers in the US alone. PlugShare is reportedly used by 7 out of 10 EV owners in the US.
In Australia and New Zealand, PlugShare is similarly popular, with hundreds of charging locations mapped across both countries.
Recargo is also behind the development of the Pay with PlugShare mobile payment platform. Meanwhile, EVgo currently boasts over 800 fast charging locations across the United States, serving 65 metropolitan areas across 34 states and more than 250,000 customers.
“At EVgo, we have a relentless commitment to growing the EV driver base and enhancing the customer experience,” said Cathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo. “The Recargo team shares that same commitment, developing innovative software to improve the charging experience.
EVgo’s acquisition of Recargo, known most prominently for its PlugShare app and website, raises questions of whether EVgo will allow PlugShare to keep its network neutrality.
Fred Lambert at Electrek raised this question with Jonathan Levy, the Chief Commercial Officer at EVgo, asking whether, for instance, “will you show an Electrify America station if it is close to an EVgo station at the same prevalence?”
“Absolutely,” Levy replied. “EVgo and Recargo share the same values for mass adoption of electric vehicles and supporting the community of drivers around the world to make that happen through increased access to charging, clear and independent data and analytics, and improving ease of payment.
“PlugShare will treat EVgo the same as every other charging network. Zero bias in reviews, PlugScores, and trip planning routes.”
Levy also doubled down on the idea that the acquisition was focused primarily as a talent grab, explaining that “Recargo is more than just the PlugShare app,” adding that Recargo is “a tremendously talented team that has built PlugShare, Pay With PlugShare, PlugShare API, PlugInsights, mobile advertising, and more.
“Recargo and EVgo can accelerate the development and deployment of new products to make EV driving and charging even more convenient and reliable.”
Recargo will remain a relatively independent entity as a wholly-owned subsidiary of EVgo, with Nick Wild, Recargo’s CEO, staying on as President and CEO.
“EVgo and Recargo have a long history of partnering to enhance the driver experience,” said Wild. “The entire Recargo team is excited to have the opportunity to further accelerate our growth as part of the EVgo family.
“PlugShare has been the first and most trusted choice for EV drivers looking for information on public charging, and we are thrilled that the EVgo team is committed to the continued independence of our PlugScore system, increasing transparency and supporting broad interoperability and neutrality.”