Skip to Main Content


Blink is committed to sustainability.Learn More

How Utilities and Dealerships Work Together to Facilitate EV Adoption

Posted 04/02/2024

In the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in both the United States and worldwide, there exists a diverse array of stakeholders. Automotive manufacturers produce the vehicles, while drivers purchase and operate them. However, to facilitate this transition effectively, we also rely on EV dealers and the establishment of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to support charging infrastructure. 

Electric utilities and automotive dealerships, among other businesses, collaborate with various levels of government to expand the charging network across the country, ensuring accessibility for all who require it. In our efforts to support the growth of EV adoption, we will closely examine the roles of electric utilities and automotive dealerships.  

Utilities and dealerships are guardians of the grid 

Utilities serve as the guardians of the grid, ensuring its reliability and functionality. While the electricity grid may seem robust with its towering pylons, it requires continuous maintenance and enhancement to operate smoothly.   

This becomes even more crucial now as electrical grids across the U.S. and globally are poised to experience a surge in activity due to the increasing number of EVs requiring charging. The EV industry is projected to grow by nearly 10% annually from this year until 2028, with the eventual transition of all vehicles from traditional fuels to electricity. To prepare for this transition, electric utility providers are continuously upgrading and reinforcing their electrical infrastructure to accommodate this influx. Concurrently, utilities are encouraging businesses to contribute to the expansion of the EV charging network, highlighting the pivotal role that automotive dealerships play in this endeavor.  

Electric utilities actively promote the expansion of the EV charging network by offering incentives to homeowners, multifamily owners, and businesses to install EV infrastructure. Simultaneously, they provide support for the installation of public chargers. Through collaborative efforts involving utilities, governments at all levels, and local businesses such as automotive dealerships, significant strides are being made to enhance the accessibility and reliability of the EV charging network in the U.S. and beyond.   

Utilities and dealerships lead the transition 

As Blink’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Battaglia told interview with CBT News at the 2024 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) conference, “Dealerships are the tip of the spear. They are the ones educating customers and demonstrating those [electric] vehicles.” 

While the electric grid operators are ensuring the grid’s strength to accommodate the charging needs of everyone’s vehicles, dealerships are actively facilitating drivers’ transitions to EVs.  

They take on the responsibility of explaining and demonstrating EV technology, educating drivers about the differences between internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and EVs. Moreover, dealerships lead by example by implementing charging infrastructure at their own businesses. They not only require chargers for their EV stock and fleet vehicles but also provide charging facilities for their customers and, in many cases, for the general public who may not have access to chargers elsewhere. This highlights the valuable relationship between electric utilities and auto dealerships.  

Utilities and dealerships promote charging 

Utilities and automotive dealerships have the opportunity to collaborate in promoting smart EV charging practices among new EV drivers. Smart charging involves understanding the optimal times to charge your vehicle to benefit both the electrical grid’s health and the driver’s wallet, typically during off-peak hours of electricity usage.  

Electric utilities offer lower prices for off-peak electricity, often during evenings and overnight hours (although times may vary by region). Automotive dealerships can play a pivotal role by sharing this valuable information with new EV drivers, encouraging them to charge during off-peak hours, which benefits both the electrical grid and drivers themselves.  

Simultaneously, dealerships can incentivize off-peak charging by adjusting their charging fees, raising prices during peak hours and lowering them during off-peak hours. This serves as an incentive for drivers to opt for off-peak charging, contributing to a more balanced grid and cost savings for drivers. 

Off-peak energy rates are usually between 11pm and 7am. Source: US Energy Information Administration

The Blink Network offers flexible pricing options, including duration, kWh energy transferred, or a hybrid. Dealerships can also vary their pricing based on time of day, public/private usage, and may even join an available utility demand response program

  • With time-based pricing, drivers are charged according to the duration they are plugged into the charger.  

  • Energy pricing entails charging drivers based on the kilowatt (kW) transferred to the vehicle.  

  • Hybrid pricing combines both time and kilowatt-hour (kWh) elements. This approach is beneficial for charging drivers for the power they use during the vehicle charging process and then billing them for the time they remain plugged into the charger after their batteries are fully charged. This strategy encourages drivers to promptly unplug their vehicles once their batteries reach full capacity.  

Utilities streamline installations at dealerships 

Electric utilities play a crucial role in assisting not only dealerships but also various other businesses and government entities by sharing data regarding the need for EV charging infrastructure, including the required power output and optimal locations for grid connections to avoid overloading.  

Utilities serve as primary partners for businesses looking to install EV chargers by often streamlining permitting processes and standardizing regulations to facilitate installation while ensuring grid integrity.  

When electrifying your dealership, one of our initial steps is to establish communication with the local electric utilities. This ensures a smooth process throughout. Your utility provider can advise if a power upgrade is necessary for installing EV chargers, particularly if you plan to install Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC).  

Which EV chargers should an auto dealership install? 

To determine the most suitable EV chargers for an automotive dealership, we turn back to Mike Battaglia, for guidance. Mike suggests that a dealership should take into account its size and volume of vehicles it spot delivers” compared to those scheduled for delivery.  

  • For dealerships that frequently spot deliver vehicles, Mike recommends considering the installation of more DCFCs. These chargers can quickly charge a vehicle in under an hour, ensuring that vehicles are ready for customers to drive off the lot promptly.  

  • On the other hand, for dealerships that primarily schedule deliveries, Mike suggests that they rely more on Level 2 chargers. These chargers typically charge a vehicle within 4 to 8 hours, providing ample time for vehicles to be charged before scheduled deliveries.  

Mike highlights additional factors for dealerships to consider when selecting EV chargers, including available space and power capacity for running the chargers. Some dealerships may need power upgrades to accommodate EV charging requirements.   

Another crucial aspect for dealerships to bear in mind is the maintenance needs of each charger type. L2 chargers typically require minimal maintenance, limited to occasional cleaning and possibly resetting the network connection. In contrast, DCFCs will necessitate at least annual maintenance to change filters and ensure they continue operating at peak performance. As Mike told CBT, “Once a year you’re going to want to change out that filter.”  

Planning your EVSE installation 

We recommend proactive planning to ensure access for your employees and customers and preparing your EV charging infrastructure for anticipated needs. Mike recommends installing as many chargers as possible right now and suggests including extra make-ready infrastructure. This ensures that when the time comes to expand, chargers can be easily added. Make-ready infrastructure involves installing wiring and conduit infrastructure to facilitate the connection of EV chargers during expansion.  

Regarding financing, Blink offers flexible business models to support electrification at dealerships. Learn more about tax credits and incentives for EV charging in your region. 


We all have a vital role to play in the ongoing electrification of the transportation network, both in the U.S. and globally. From automotive manufacturers to dealerships to EV drivers, the support we provide each other contributes to transitioning into a cleaner mode of travel. Electric utilities play a significant part by maintaining the electrical grid and offering incentives to businesses, making the switch to EVs more accessible. Similarly, dealerships play a crucial role by educating drivers and guiding them in selecting the right EV for their needs, facilitating the transition to electric vehicles. Ready to embrace electrification at your dealership? Reach out to Blink Charging today.   

Share this post