Belgian charging station giant Powerdale's bankruptcy leaves users stranded

Belgian charging station giant Powerdale's bankruptcy leaves users stranded
The Belgian firm managed some 50,000 charging points across Bethe country

Powerdale, once a stalwart in Belgium's electric vehicle charging infrastructure, has left hundreds, if not thousands, of its customers in the lurch following its bankruptcy last year.

The repercussions are keenly felt as users find themselves unable to utilise the charging stations due to the failure of the brand's accompanying app.

Reports from disgruntled users indicate that attempts to access the app have resulted in messages stating their accounts have been deactivated. Efforts to reinstall the application have proven futile, leaving users unable to control the charging stations, which rely solely on the Nexxtmove app for operation.

"I received the message in the app that my account has been deactivated," one user lamented to Het Laatste Nieuws. "I can't get the app to work anymore. I uninstalled it and reinstalled it, but it doesn't work anymore."

The charging stations themselves lack physical controls, with the Nexxtmove app serving as the sole interface for users to manage the charging process. Consequently, if the application ceases to function, so too does the usability of the charging station.

"I've already tried to control the charging station via the Mercedes app, but it doesn't work," recounted another frustrated user in the Het Laatste Nieuws article . Despite seeking assistance from Diego, the Luxembourg-based company that purportedly took over Powerdale's Nexxtmove management platform, users have reported receiving no response, exacerbating their predicament.

A trailblazer in the scene

Founded in 2003, Powerdale was a pioneering force in Belgium's electric vehicle charging landscape. The Nexxtmove management platform, as reported by De Tijd, oversaw a network of 50,000 Powerdale charging stations across the country.

In addition, Powerdale’s Mobile Nexxtender charging cable offered a unique feature of measuring consumption, enabling drivers to seek reimbursement for their home electricity use. Particularly suitable for plug-in hybrids without the need for fixed installations, the Mobile Nexxtender facilitated convenient charging.

However, it lacked advanced capabilities such as load balancing or monitoring home energy consumption, rendering it less viable with the rise in popularity of fully electric vehicles that require more sophisticated charging infrastructure.

Despite its stronghold in the Walloon Region, Powerdale faced a critical challenge when orders failed to match its production capacity, leading to an unsustainable situation. Consequently, the commercial court declared the company bankrupt in June 2023. Following this declaration, the court appointed a curator and a supervisory judge to oversee the proceedings.

Taken offline

Under the curator's supervision, the remaining assets and services of Powerdale were liquidated, with the proceeds distributed among the creditors. However, the hardware assets were not acquired in the process. As a result, support and warranties for Powerdale products became invalid.

The company's website was subsequently taken offline, and technical support ceased to be available via phone, in-person assistance, or email. This absence of support rendered it impossible for consumers to resolve any hardware-related issues. The bankruptcy of Powerdale left a void in the market, impacting both consumers and stakeholders alike.

With users now facing the brunt of Powerdale's downfall, questions loom over the fate of these charging stations and the potential remedies available to stranded customers. As the fallout continues to unfold, affected users anxiously await clarity and resolution amid an uncertain future for Belgium's electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

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