Blink Charging today announced that it acquired the European EV charging operator Blue Corner N.V., based in Antwerp, Belgium, and its portfolio of 7,071 charging ports and robust European charging network. The acquisition was made with a combination of cash and stock of approximately $25 million (€21 million) and gives Blink Charging complete operational control of Blue Corner and its EV charging assets.
The acquisition is part of Blink’s broader strategic international expansion plans and provides the Company a significant infrastructure footprint in the region. Blue Corner chargers are located across Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France.
“The Blue Corner acquisition will provide the critical mass required to make significant inroads in the European charging market and provide Blink with a larger international presence. Adding existing Blue Corner locations to our growing list of locations in Israel and Greece affords us even more opportunities to be a dominant player in the advanced European EV charging industry,” stated Michael D. Farkas, Blink Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “This announcement underscores our commitment to investment in products, services, and companies that further Blink’s mission of bringing affordable and reliable EV charging to the US and now Western Europe.”
To facilitate Blink’s European expansion, the Company also announced the creation of Blink Holdings B.V., a new company in Amsterdam, which will drive the growth of Blink’s European presence. The existing Blue Corner operations, management team, and personnel will remain unchanged following the acquisition.
Blink formally entered the European market in September 2019 with Blink Charging Hellas, a joint venture between Blink Charging Co. and Eunice Energy Group. The partnership began with the first deployment of Blink electric vehicle charging stations in Greece as part of the green energy electrification of the Rio-Antirrio “Charilaos Trikoupis” Bridge. Significant subsequent announcements have been made, including a partnership of Blink Charging Hellas and Nissan Nik. I. Theocharakis S.A and the purchase of 45 dual-port Blink charging stations by Public Power Company (PPC S.A.) for deployment across Greece.
This tender by PPC S.A. was the first following the utility’s public announcement to enter into the Greek EV charging market with 10,000 charging stations. Also, in September 2019, Blink announced its first deployments of EV charging stations in Israel through its wholly-owned subsidiary Blink Charging Ltd.
We spoke with Blink Charging's newly-appointed President, Brendan Jones, about the acquisition and were told that the company has plans to expand beyond the four countries Blue Corner currently operates in.
We now have a western European stronghold, and we've already established a partnership in Greece that we announced earlier in the year on the eastern European side...There will be more acquisitions like this, as we move forward throught the remainder of this year and into next year. - Brendan Jones, President and COO of Blink Charging
I asked Jones if they planned on changing the name of the network to Blink, and was told that for the time being at least, the company will continue to operate at Blue Corner but that they will continue to assess their options.
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The 7,071 charging ports are level 2 units. Many of the units operated by Blue Corner have two posts per pedestal and allow two vehicles to charge simultaneously. Some of the units have Cables tethered to them, but the majority do not, as the EV owner brings their own cable which plugs into both the car and the charging station.
That's one of the differences in charging in Europe compared to EV charging in North America. Unlike Europe, here in North America the cable is always permanently attached to the charging equipment.