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What’s New on the Blink Network?

Posted 07/11/2023

With the recent integration of SemaConnect hardware into the Blink Network, we’ve expanded the size of the Blink Network and added several new features for managing your charging stations. While many of these features are initially offered to Series X charging stations, they will be expanded across the Blink Network, where supported by hardware. Here’s what you need to know.

Private access 

Blink makes it easier to manage private charging at your business. Many workplaces and apartment communities prefer to restrict access to approved members. Some mixed-use facilities want to offer EV charging as a free amenity to tenants or employees, but charge for public use. Now you can add private member groups and private pricing to your Blink Series X chargers. Download the private stations announcement.

Flexible pricing plans 

Not only does Blink offer duration and energy pricing, but we’ve now added time-of-day and hybrid options! Not only can you charge users for the energy delivered to the vehicle and the time spent plugged in, but you can customize your pricing for the time-of-day. Time-of-day pricing allows you to incentivize drivers to charge during off-peak hours when utility rates are low.  And with our new hybrid option, you can now mix your preferred pricing, such as using a kWh fee while the vehicle is being charged, then an hourly rate that begins once the battery is full.

EV charging waitlists 

EV charging waitlists are another exciting feature now available with Blink. Many EV drivers worry about waiting in line for a charger. The new Blink charging waitlist is similar to your typical restaurant experience, where customers can check in, get a drink at the bar, then get a text when the next table is ready. Now, if the charging station is already occupied, drivers can join the waitlist using the Blink Mobile App to reserve the station the next time that it is available. When the current session ends, the next driver on the list will receive a notification to plug in. As the site host, the length of time that the station will be held for a driver is up to you. With Blink’s new waitlist feature, EV drivers can go to work and charge their vehicles without missing a beat. 

Network load management and demand response 

While Blink has already offered local load management, we have now launched a new demand response feature that enables more grid management. While local load management allows hosts to reduce installation costs by sharing power between multiple chargers, network load management/demand response allow hosts to participate in grid optimization programs. Some utility companies offer incentives to businesses that join a demand response program. As the US Department of Energy notes, “sensors can perceive peak load problems and utilize automatic switching to divert or reduce power in strategic places, removing the chance of overload and the resulting power failure.” During peak demand, your utility provider would send an Automated Demand Response (ADR) signal to reduce power at participating charging stations. This automatic signal helps utilities prevent brownouts and blackouts, while allowing businesses to save money on their electrical bills. 

Fleet management 

While we will go more in depth in a later blog, the new Blink Fleet Portal gives fleet managers the power to track and manage your fleet Level 2 and DC fast chargers. Now you can: 

  • Track individual vehicle energy consumption  

  • Set rules to ensure that your vehicles are always ready for deployment 

  • Schedule charging to optimize off-peak energy rates 

While many of these features are initially available for Series X stations, future updates to the Blink Network will include other applicable products. Ready to get started with Blink? Contact our sales team here

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