ECOtality Blink DC fast charger plugged inEnlarge Photo
Electric car charging station provider ECOtality has had a lawsuit against the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) thrown out by a California appeals judge.
ECOtality had wanted to stop the Commission funding a charging network set up by eVgo, a subsidiary of energy company NRG.
The $102.5 million deal was agreed upon back in March, but ECOtality filed a lawsuit back in May.
As reported by Torque News, a subsidiary of NRG had been accused of over-charging Californians on their energy bills during the energy crisis of 2000-2001.
ECOtality's claim is that California's 'punishment'--requiring eVgo to supply fee-capped charging stations--is more of an investment for the State of California than it is a punishment on NRG.
Stations would be available on a pay-as-you-go basis for the first five years, while fast-chargers would be capped at $10 for a charge off-peak, and $15 on-peak.
The company claimed that funding eVgo's charging stations would illegally offer a monopoly to an out-of-state energy company.
Following the ruling, ECOtality released the following statement:
"While we are disappointed and disagree with the outcome of this case, we continue to see great opportunity for ECOtality and the whole of the electric vehicle industry in California. We look forward to working with our competitors and regulatory bodies to make sure California, our home, remains at the forefront of clean energy."
While the ruling is a blow to ECOtality, it could be good news for the state's electric car owners, both present and future.
The plans are set to triple the number of charging stations located in the state, and increase the number of fast-chargers from a handful to over 200.
Although some point out that the fees could make charging electric cars on fast-chargers as expensive per mile as filling up a gas or diesel vehicle, the quantity of chargers would make it much easier for drivers to move about the state.
Advocates also suggest that an abundance of charging stations could alert potential EV buyers that there's finally a suitable network for them to use, encouraging more people to buy electric cars.
Are you an EV driver in California? What does the ruling mean for you? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.