ChargePoint vs. Blink: Which Charging Network is Best?
Electric vehicle charging stations vary widely when it comes to price, compatibility, and access to locations. Although you can join more than one charging network (and even get roaming access to partner networks), it’s likely going to be more cost-effective and convenient to choose a single charging network and stick with it.
Two of the most popular EV charging companies out there are ChargePoint and Blink, but there are some key differences in their business models. Blink owns and operates its charging stations directly, while ChargePoint stations are owned by third parties.
Let’s take a look at how the ChargePoint vs. Blink charging networks compare, as well as which membership options are available for EV drivers.
ChargePoint vs. Blink Overview
There are several different types of electric vehicle charging stations, including Level 2 charging (240 volts) and DC fast charging (480 volts and up).
Just as a gas station might have more than one type of pump (such as gas and diesel), a public charging station may have a combination of Level 2 and DC fast chargers, and support different connection types.
So, which EV charging options do ChargePoint and Blink offer, and how much can you expect to pay to charge your battery?
When it comes to locations, there’s no denying the fact that ChargePoint has the bigger network. It has over 100,000 locations in North America alone, as well as additional EV charging stations in Europe. Blink, on the other hand, only has about 30,000 stations, including several in Central America and the Caribbean.
In some parts of the country, such as the East Coast and West Coast, both companies have similar coverage. But if you plan to take a road trip in your electric vehicle, you’ll want to check out a map of EV charging infrastructure before you leave home.
ChargePoint’s locations are more evenly distributed across the country, while the Blink network has gaps in states like North and South Dakota and Montana. Both companies offer roaming options, which allow you to use your membership card to get charging services from another charging operator, but this may cost extra.
When it comes to price, which EV charging company is more affordable – ChargePoint or Blink? That’s a tricky question to answer because charging costs vary from state to state and even from one charging station to the next.
According to Blink, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0.39 to $0.79 per kWh, or between $25 and $50 to fully charge a 65-kilowatt battery. ChargePoint’s rates are set by the station operator, but you can expect them to be in the same range, with higher rates for DC fast charging than for Level 2 charging.
Both networks offer benefits if you sign up for a free membership. You’ll be able to tap your membership card (or smartphone app) to start charging. Blink also offers “Plus” and “Pro” subscriptions with prepaid payment options.
Keep in mind that only some states allow networks to charge by kilowatt-hours, which tends to be more cost-effective; in other states, you’ll have to pay a per-minute rate. And remember, it will almost always be cheaper to charge your EV at home.
When it comes to compatibility, there’s no such thing as a universal charger that works with all makes and models. Teslas use the SAE J1772 connector, while other EVs use CCS or CHAdeMO connection types.
Fortunately, ChargePoint and Blink make it easy to find out which connection types are available at each location. All you have to do is download their respective smartphone apps to check real-time availability and even reserve a station.
Most types of EVs can charge on either network without any trouble, but Tesla owners will have to bring along an adapter or go to a Supercharger station instead.
Home EV Charging Stations
One thing that’s convenient about both EV charging companies is that they offer Level 2 home chargers in addition to public charging stations. While you can plug your electric car directly into a wall outlet, this is the slowest way to charge, so you’ll likely want to install a Level 2 home charger in your driveway or garage.
Let’s find out which of these options is the better buy.
Blink HQ 200
The Blink Charging Co. produces several home chargers, including the HQ 200, a 50-amp charger designed for residential use. This model is currently available for pre-order, while an earlier model, the HQ 150, sells for about $550 on Amazon.
The HQ 200 comes with a 23-foot charging cable and an SAE J1772 connection. It’s Wi-Fi-enabled and supports Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri integrations. This makes it easy to monitor all of your charging sessions using the same app, whether you’re at home or on the go.
Blink also offers the MQ 200, which is similar to the HQ 200 but designed for small businesses that need to charge a fleet of EVs.
ChargePoint Home Flex
The ChargePoint Home Flex retails for $699, plus the cost of installation. Although it’s more expensive than the Blink charger, you may be eligible for certain tax incentives and rebates depending on your state.
Like the HQ 200, the Flex provides up to 50 amps and comes with a 23-foot charging cable. You can connect it to your smartphone to get charging reminders or charge at off-peak hours to get lower electricity rates.
If you live in an apartment or condo, you aren’t out of luck; you can send a letter to your property manager to encourage them to install a ChargePoint station. They can use a web portal to monitor electricity use across shared or assigned parking spots.
Which Charging Network is Here to Stay?
Along with price and compatibility, it’s worth considering which company is going to stick around for the long term. After all, you don’t want to sign up for an EV charging network only to find out that it’s gone under. Which of these networks is likely to expand its EV charging infrastructure and increase its market share?
According to investing websites like the Motley Fool, neither company is winning when it comes to profitability: They both incurred heavy losses last year. Chargepoint Holdings, Inc. (CHPT) has a higher valuation on the NYSE, with a market cap of more than $4 billion, while Blink (BLNK) only has a market cap of less than $1 billion as of early 2022.
Still, Blink’s recent partnership with General Motors – which will see it provide IQ 200 EV chargers to GM dealerships – has it trending on the stock market.
We’re not going to tell you which EV charging stocks to buy, but it’s a fair bet that in the debate between Chargepoint vs. Blink, both are in it for the long haul. And with the passage of the federal Infrastructure bill – which provides up to $5 billion in funding for a “national charging network,” we’re likely to see even more charging options over time.
Choose the Right EV Charging Network for You
When you’re considering ChargePoint vs. Blink, they’re two of the best EV charging networks in North America. Both of them have EV charging infrastructure throughout the U.S. and sell their own Level 2 EV charging stations that you can install at home.
But there are plenty of other options out there, including Electrify America, EVgo, Volta, and the Tesla Supercharger network. The best EV charging station for you will depend on which type of electric car you drive and how often you need to charge it.
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