Blink looks to plug any Tesla US charging gap

CPO says it has the flexibility to target both L2 and supercharging opportunities

Blink looks to plug any Tesla US charging gap
Blink prefers to sell L2 chargers as supercharger market opens up

US charge point operator (CPO) Blink Charging is aiming to capitalise on any opportunities in the US charging market left by market leader Tesla's decision to throttle back on growth plans for its own supercharging network.

Blink CEO Brendan Jones says that the surprise decision of supercharger leader Tesla to make deep staff cuts in its charging business and concentrate on uptime and expansion at existing sites has "created some momentum for us and we have the products and services and charges to take advantage of that".

"We have received quite a bit of inbound inquiries already when the [Tesla] news came out and we put ourselves in a position that we are poised to take advantage of them when they actually materialise into an offer or an order," Jones says.

However, Blink management reaffirmed the company's prioritisation of Level 2 (L2) charging, saying once again that it expects 90pc of its installations to be L2 rather than ultrafast charging. Indeed, CFO Michael Rama highlights the recent beginning of Nevi funding tranches for community-0based L2 infrastructure, known as CFI funding.

"[CFI tranches] are starting now, and our real focus as a heavily focused L2 company is to pursue those," Rama says, echoing Jones' statement that the firm will "look for Nevi opportunities that really fit Blink".

However, while Blink's preferred portion of the market may not fully line up with the hole left by Tesla, Evercore analyst Chris Pierce points out that the Elon Musk-led firm "had been moving down into the Level 2 space and had won some hospitality deals with Hilton and, I believe, Best Western".

COO Michael Battaglia believes that Blink's flexible and diverse business model allows it to respond to sudden market changes in real time. "When we think about the mix between product sales versus owner-operator..., that is largely going to follow the market opportunities," he says. And CEO Jones concurs that Blink is capable of being nimble

"That is why we really believe the flexible business model, combined with operating in Europe and the US, and doing both the sales of hardware and services and networking services and the owner-operator models really making us flexible and adaptable as the market changes," he says.

But Tesla CEO Elon Musk is keen to dispel any notions that his firm is opening the door to charging rivals, taking to the X, formerly Twitter, social network trhat he owns both to stress Tesla's ongoing commitment to its network and to inaugurate an X community focused on discussing issues with the supercharging experience and where next to deploy new superchargers.

"Just to reiterate: Tesla will spend well over $500mn expanding our supercharger network to create thousands of new chargers this year," Musk says. "That is just on new sites and expansions, not counting operations costs, which are much higher."

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