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CarCharging rescues struggling Blink network of EV chargers

It was a big blow to the electric vehicle charging industry when government-backed ECOtality, the company that supplied public and residential chargers for the EV Project under the name Blink network, filed for bankruptcy in September 2013.

At the time, it was unclear what would become of their Blink network of public charging stations and it was feared that the stations would become stranded assets. Fortunately, CarCharging Group purchased the Blink network in October 2013 and has since done an admirable job restoring service to the network.

Earlier this week it was announced that CarCharging has resumed sales of the Blink HQ Level II residential charging station. This is encouraging news for those following the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) industry, further indicating the success of the Blink take-over by CarCharging.

Miami-based CarCharging has restored service to nearly all of the 12,560 public and residential stations in the Blink network, which included responding to a great deal of service requests left over from ECOtality’s failed operation of the network. It appears that many of the shortcomings of ECOtality, including problems with overheating chargers and public chargers that didn’t work, poor customer support, and a pervasive lack of reliability have been significantly improved since CarCharging stepped in.

Now CarCharging is offering membership to the Blink network as well as a $100 bonus credit with the purchase of a Blink HQ residential charger, which seems to be a smart move. Encouraging use of their public network is critical to the success of any EVSE provider as companies continue to seek the most effective business model for the dynamic and rapidly growing EVSE market.

According to Michael D. Farkas, CEO of CarCharging: “Based on the estimates provided by Navigant Research and at an average price of $500, the worldwide market for residential EV charging stations could be more than $729 million annually by 2020.” It remains to be seen how public charging will factor into the larger EV charging equation as EV sales increase and drivers become more accustomed to dealing with the limited range of their vehicles (with the exception of the Tesla Model S and its future Gigafactory), but CarCharging has made the right calls so far in its crucial takeover of the Blink network.