Blink expands V2G with EV chargers at CES

  • January 11, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Florida-based Blink launched at last week’s CES in Las Vegas an EV charging station with smart grid functionality that allows communication directly with local utilities.

The MQ 200 was one of seven products launched by Blink at the show.

The MQ 200 was joined by the HQ 200 Smart and Basic models, Vision IQ 200, and a 50kW DC fast charger, which offer EV charging technology across the EV ecosystem, including home, fleet, multifamily and retail.

Some of the charging products feature vehicle-to-grid technology capable of dynamically balancing energy demand with supply. In addition, Blink launched two apps, Blink Mobile App and the Blink Fleet portal, to empower a more seamless, efficient, and affordable charging experience for consumers and fleets.

“With the launch of this next-generation of products, Blink is leading a paradigm shift in what charging infrastructure is and can be,” said Michael Farkas, CEO of Blink Charging. “Pairing more than a decade’s worth of industry experience with the newest charging technology available in the market, we have built products that create reliable and enjoyable charging experiences for customers across the industry. By taking this holistic approach to electrification, reaching consumers, fleets, businesses, retailers, developers and municipalities, we are making transitioning to EVs easier than ever before, while also helping to deliver on the electrification goals set forth by both public and private entities globally.”

The MQ 200 is a 50A scalable charging station that meets the needs of fleets and locations requiring multiple fast chargers. Designed especially for fleets, workplace and multifamily locations, it makes deploying numerous chargers at a single location convenient, cost-effective and scalable. Integrated plug-and-charge functionality allows any electric vehicle or fleet EV with this capability to start a charge instantly after plugging in.

The MQ 200 communicates with the Blink Network and the Blink Fleet Portal via LTE or wifi connections. The chargers can be deployed using local load management which allows for installation of two to twenty Blink chargers on a single circuit, suitable for overnight charging of fleet vehicles in a queue, while the unit’s smart grid functionality allows communication directly with local utilities.

The MQ 200 also comes with multiple cable management options that can be paired with all charger deployment methods, whether wall, pole or pedestal.

For the more than eighty per cent of EV drivers expected to charge at home, the HQ 200 comes in two models: the Advanced, which provides drivers remote control and intelligence via wifi,; and the Basic, for those looking for a more streamlined product.

It has 50A of output and is said to make at-home charging easier, faster and more seamless. The Advanced model is equipped with vehicle-to-grid and load-sharing technology, which allows multiple EVs to charge at home on a single, shared circuit for a household with multiple EVs. The charger is smart-home ready and connects to the Blink Mobile App via 5GHz wifi.

Blink’s Vision product line pairs the company’s level-two charging equipment with a dynamic digital media display, offering a full-service advertising capability with an integrated charging station, suitable for retail, hospitality and high-traffic locations.

The Vision-IQ 200 is equipped with one or two 80A chargers and has two 76cm screens capable of displaying static and dynamic advertising, while the charging station is compatible with all-electric vehicles. It communicates with the Blink Network via LTE or wifi, and can be deployed using local load management; it features smart grid functionality.

The DC Fast Wall 50kW charger has up to 150A of output. The wall-mounted charger is the size of a flatscreen TV and has vehicle-to-grid technology capable of dynamically balancing energy demand with supply. It comes as a wall-mountable or pedestal device and can charge two cars simultaneously making it suitable for fleet, retail and street-side charging, and at all high-traffic locations.

Efficiency is 97%. It also features fast communications via integrated LTE and wifi, a 25.4cm touch screen display, and an RFID reader to start a charge with a Blink member card, credit card and Blink Mobile app.

An integrated electric fleet management offering, the Blink Fleet portal is designed to help fleet managers improve operational efficiencies at all levels. It is a smart software platform that connects chargers, vehicles, fleet managers and fleet drivers. The product can also be integrated into existing platforms via API, enabling more flexibility.

Blink Fleet software has a dashboard with real-time reporting and vehicle diagnostics for fleet managers to track various operations including routing, charging depots and activity, vehicles and drivers, as well as mobile charging in case of rescue needs in emergencies. It was designed to enable 99% uptime. The software also features smart AI enabled charging to set automatically when, how much and how quickly to charge vehicles, as well as smart grid functionality to communicate with local utilities and avoid off-peak hours.

For vehicle and driver management, the product integrates with vehicle telematics for real-time information for tracking and alerts, daily route management, charging status and history, vehicle diagnostics, and service schedules. There is a mobile app for drivers that includes charging status, routes, updates, automatic data sync and communication.

The Blink mobile app is designed to make the EV charging experience easier and more accessible for public and home charging. It puts EV drivers in control with expanded keyword search allowing drivers to search for nearby activities, such as a café or shopping centre, that are close to a charging station. The app also enables interoperability with other charging providers’ networks, allowing drivers to charge at a ChargePoint station, for example.

The app lets drivers reserve charging sessions in advance, log favourite frequent charging stations, and set charging reminders to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates. The app also provides account and charging history reporting and real-time charging information, which includes estimated time left to charge and estimated costs to help drivers plan their charging sessions.

Blink Charging has deployed more than 30,000 charging ports in 13 countries, many of which are networked EV charging stations, enabling EV drivers to charge at any of the company’s charging locations worldwide.