President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill included a $7.5 billion cash tranche to create a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers. Since Biden signed the bill, electric vehicle charging companies have stepped up their pace, seeking to take advantage of national momentum and federal funding.
Along with ambitious attempts at scaling came a wave of consolidation. While some early adopters such as ChargePoint, EVGo, Electrify America, and Tesla have created large national EV charging infrastructure networks, they have by no means captured the entire market.
The recent surge in EV charging acquisitions shows what consolidation looks like in the industry and which players could come out on top.
Blink charging completed on Tuesday. plans to acquire SemaConnect In a $200 million cash and common stock deal that will add 13,000 electric vehicle chargers to Blink’s service area, an additional 3,800 host spaces and more than 150,000 electric vehicle drivers, Blink said. This brings the number of Blink chargers to 48,000, according to the company, which means they are finally on par with ChargePoint, the former U.S. electric vehicle charging leader, which boasts 30,000 stations with more than 47,000 individual charging ports.
The infrastructure bill also appears to encourage foreign companies to increase their presence in the US. On Tuesday, EV Connect said it was acquired by Schneider Electric, a French energy management and automation company based on the principles of sustainability and e-mobility. Schneider is using the acquisition to expand its charging capabilities and expand its presence in the United States.
Other companies seem to be interested in growth through mergers and acquisitions. Let’s take ABB for example.
Earlier this year, ABB’s electric vehicle division, which makes fast electric chargers for cars, buses and trucks, shared plans to spend $750 million to expand operations, largely through acquisitions. In addition to acquisitions this year Numocity of India as well as Chinese Chargedot, ABB acquired InCharge Energya commercial charging infrastructure company to strengthen its position in the North American market.
For a company that doesn’t have millions of venture capital investments or an outdated conglomerate backing it up, Blink, in particular, has been successful over the past year. The publicly traded company, which was founded in 2009, has long been something of an underdog compared to other big electric vehicle charging companies. However, he organically uses his income to buy companies.
In addition to SemaConnect, in 2022 Blink also acquired the British company EB Charging. for $23.4 million. Last year, Blink bought Blue Corner for $24 million in cash and stock, and in 2020, the company acquired BlueLA and U-Go for an undisclosed amount.
The purchase of SemaConnect is something to watch out for because it allows Blink to take advantage of Biden’s infrastructure bill and could point the direction of future strategic acquisitions for Blink and other companies. Blink will not only take over SemaConnect’s own research and development, equipment design and manufacturing facilities, but will also take over the company’s manufacturing facilities in Maryland. Blink chargers are not currently made in the US, so the company will now be officially compliant with Buy American, allowing it to access that $7.5 billion.
“While we are actively looking into manufacturing in the US, this will require significant time and resources,” a Blink spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Using the newly acquired SemaConnect facility greatly reduces these variables and allows us to qualify much faster and at a lower cost.”
Notably, even with the acquisition of SemaConnect, Blink’s network of deployed chargers is mostly Tier 2, and it takes six to 12 hours to fully charge a car. According to the company, Blink has no more than 100 DC chargers, all of which are first generation. Although this is only the beginning, it is nothing compared to Tesla. Globally, the luxury electric vehicle maker has more than 30,000 charging ports, almost all of them are DC Fast. Historically, they were only available for Tesla vehicles, but the company is gradually opening up its network to non-Tesla electric vehicles..
As the EV industry continues to consolidate, expect acquisitions that include companies with manufacturing facilities in the US as well as companies that are finding innovative ways to commercialize and scale DC fast chargers.
Credit: techcrunch.com /