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Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Posted 04/18/2024

Fleets worldwide, including those in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). While this shift presents challenges, notably in terms of cost, there are strategies to mitigate expenses while advancing towards EV adoption and achieving decarbonization objectives. This insight was shared by Jay Hudson, Director of Fleet and Government Sales at Blink Charging, during a recent segment on Advanced Clean Tech News (ACT News).

Flexibility can help cut costs

Hudson highlighted that with electrification, the refueling dynamic undergoes a significant shift. Fleets no longer depend on external infrastructure but can refuel efficiently right where their vehicles are parked. This approach effectively transforms each parking spot for company vehicles into a refueling station.

To aid in the transition from public to onsite infrastructure, Blink offers a range of business models tailored to manage costs for companies. These models aim to minimize upfront investment by shifting expenses from capital to operational costs, providing flexibility and financial ease.

“Our business models are really geared toward trying to minimize the amount of investment that a company has to make on the front end, so rather than it being a large capital expense, we can shift – through our various business models and channels – that expense away from upfront capital costs to operating expenses.”

Furthermore, Blink extends financing options to fleet operators and offers the following business models:

  • Host Owned- For fleet operators capable of managing upfront capital expenses, the Host Owned business model enables them to outright purchase the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and manage their operation.

  • Blink Owned- Under the Blink Owned model, at select locations, Blink handles installation, equipment provision, operations, and administration, while sharing a portion of the revenues with the host.

  • Blink As A Service- Blink as a Service, Blink’s subscription program, offers fleet operators EV charging stations with minimal initial costs and complete ownership control without the associated management hassles.

  • Hybrid Owned- With the Hybrid Owned program, Blink covers equipment, operations, and administration costs, requiring fleet operators only to prepare the site for EV charger installation.

Hudson emphasized Blink’s commitment to providing innovative approaches not only in EV charging technology but also in making such technology accessible to fleet clients at an affordable cost. He highlighted the range of ownership options, recognizing that each business has unique needs and preferences.  

Proprietary network

Blink not only stands as one of the largest manufacturers of EVSE but also operates its own network, the Blink Network. This unique position enables Blink to promptly address the requirements of fleet clients Hudson emphasized.

Utilizing its network capabilities, Blink employs analytics to optimize charging schedules, lower energy expenses, and improve overall fleet efficiency for its clients. Each fleet customer gains entry to their personalized Blink Fleet Portal, a comprehensive dashboard equipping them with tools to oversee all facets of their charging stations.

“Core to our mission as a company is giving fleet managers and business operators the tools that they need to have one single dashboard – one single source of truth, if you will – that gives them a global look into all of their fleet assets,” Hudson said, “[including] how they’re charging – all the sessions – and, very importantly, how is the electricity load on a site-by-site basis being managed.”

Hudson pointed out that every fleet is unique, but Blink has been consistently receiving feedback from fleet customers regarding common concerns. For instance, many customers inquire about local load management and how to implement it on a site-specific basis. This practice allows multiple charging stations to efficiently utilize the same electrical circuit, distributing available power among EVs as they charge.

Additionally, fleet customers seeking a public-facing aspect to their EVSE often seek guidance on the pricing for public chargers, a topic Blink is pleased to assist with.

Preparing for the Future

In the rapidly evolving landscape of EV charging, where technology advances swiftly, it’s essential for Blink Charging to prepare its equipment for the future. Hudson highlighted this necessity, emphasizing how Blink ensures its equipment complies with all current international standards, such as ISO 15118. Originally designed for vehicle-to-grid communication, blink strategically incorporates this standard into its chargers for versatile application beyond its intended purpose.

“In this case, we might be using that for vehicle identification authentication for certain charging sessions and load management and things like that,” he said.

Which types of chargers should fleets install?

Blink’s director of fleet and government sales emphasized the importance of opting for commercial-grade equipment over residential alternatives for fleet operators. Commercial chargers are specifically designed to withstand outdoor elements and high usage rates, ensuring durability and reliability.

He recommended the Blink Series 7 Level 2 EV Charging Station for fleets, describing it as “the workhorse of Blink’s commercial line.” The Series 7 is a Level 2 charging station available in 48- or 80-amp configurations, capable of supplying up to 19.2 kilowatts per hour of charging. Designed for robustness and ease of maintenance, it is an ideal choice for fleet operations.

“It’s the type of technology that is cellular-enabled,” Hudson explained. “Although it can be hardwired and it can rely on wi-fi, sometimes those things, in and of themselves, can create challenges and issues for properly servicing EV charging stations or, at the very least, being able to tap into a station to be able to diagnose an issue, problem or challenge.”

The Blink Series 7 offers versatility, functionality seamlessly as both a monetized and non-monetized charger, making it simple to maintain maximum uptime.

Regarding Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs), Hudson highlighted the Blink 60-360 kW DC Fast Charging Stations as ideal options for fleet operators seeking rapid charging capabilities for their vehicles.

Proactive approaches

Hudson characterized Blink’s approach to its fleet customers as “white glove,” emphasizing the proactive nature of Blink’s recommendations. Rather than merely providing high-output charging stations, Blink prioritizes ease of operation and maintenance, striving to make the charging experience seamless for fleet operators. Recommendations are tailored to meet specific needs and challenges.

For instance, in regions prone to heavy snowfall, concerns about charging cables being damaged or covered in snow are addressed through the recommendation of a cable management system that automatically retracts cables and keeps them off the ground, preventing potential damage.

As part of its commitment to accelerating the transition to EVs, Blink conducts comprehensive fleet analyses for potential customers. This involves identifying EV equivalents for the ICE vehicles being replaced, considering factors such as duty cycle, payload requirements, and price range.

While Blink is not a fleet leasing company, Hudson noted its close collaboration with fleet leasing companies to ensure that EVs being purchased for fleet purposes are comparable to their gas- or diesel-powered counterparts.


In conclusion, setting up and scaling a new EV ecosystem for electric vehicles can pose cost challenges for fleet operators. However, Blink Charging offers a range of business models tailored for hosts, enabling fleet operators to focus on operational costs during the transition period. For assistance from a fleet electrification expert, please contact Blink Charging.

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