Electric car charging infrastructure company Coulomb Technologies, which earlier this week unveiled a new home car charging station, has as its main competitor in this space Ecotality. This rival a few days ago unveiled its own flagship charging stations, which the company is calling Blink. The first of these chargers will start appearing this fall as part of the company’s EV Project.
The Blink line of chargers – one for home usage and one for commercial installations – are Level 2 devices which are said to be smart and interactive by Ecotality. What exactly does this mean? According to the company, these chargers will communicate over networks with consumers, utilities and points of installation, such as retailers, for things like remote control through smartphone applications and tie-ins to smart grids for power management by utilities during high peak demand situations will be possible. They were designed for Ecotality by noted design firm frog design.
In terms of residential versus commercial models, those Blink units installed in homes will reportedly able to deliver a full charge to a typical electric car in two to six hours and will be programmable to charge the car when electricity rates are the lowest. Commercial units, meanwhile, will be able to be installed in places where one typically drives to (i.e. movie theaters, shopping malls, coffee shops and retailers). The Blink chargers as a whole will sport features like color touch screens delivering information and third-party media, with customization available for monetization of the charging space for host and network operator alike.
“Blink is more than a place to plug in a car—it is the fulcrum between the driver, car, home and utility. This high level of interactivity built into our system sets Blink chargers apart from anything else on the market and is key to driving consumer EV adoption,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of Ecotality, in a statement. “Never before has consumer demand been so high and the market potential so large for EVs. By introducing a charger that is simply smarter and really connected, Ecotality and our partners are setting a new industry standard.”