Blink Charging’s founder and CEO shares his thoughts on electric charging and #MiamiTech
Florida has around 60,000 electric cars, making it the US state with the second highest number of these chargeable rides, only after California. Electric cars are not a panacea for our climate change woes, but they do play an important role in our journey to net zero carbon emissions.
Miami Beach-based Blink Charging has been paving the way for electric vehicles for the better part of a decade now. The publicly-traded company designs, manufactures, and owns/operates EV charging stations.
Blink Charging has upwards of 130 employees working on their hardware and software products. There are thousands of Blink Charging’s EV chargers deployed around the US everywhere from airports and hotels to condo buildings and supermarkets.
Founder and CEO Michael D. Farkas has seen the industry change quite rapidly over his time in Blink Charging’s driving seat.
“People used to throw me out of their offices and now they welcome me,” he told Refresh Miami, underscoring the change in perception about electric vehicle charging. “People used to ask me if I was a crackpot, and now they think I’m a prophet.”
If public policy is any indication, Farkas is undeniably closer to the latter. EV charging is top of mind for the Biden administration. The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy announced that over the next five years, $5 billion from congress’s recently-passed infrastructure bill will go towards making EV charging accessible to all Americans.
This funding is sorely needed, asserted Farkas, who explained that we only have a few hundred thousand charging stations in the US. According to estimates Farkas has seen, the US will need closer to 16 million charging stations to keep up with demand. That’s a big business opportunity for Blink.
“I’m extremely optimistic,” said Farkas. “Without a question, we’re seeing some major funding coming from the US government.” He explained that this funding is “not the be all end all, but it’s definitely going to be a major catalyst.”
Farkas highlighted that Blink has been a recipient of some of that funding, and that he looks forward to receiving more grants, rebates, and other programs to propel their mission to deploy charging infrastructure at scale. “It’s a little bit costly at this point in time and there may not be an instant return. But a lot of these funds will assist us in getting charging infrastructure into disadvantaged communities and will help ultimately with equality in these communities.”
Is it possible for Miami to achieve net zero? “If any city in the world should be able to, it should be Miami,” said Farkas. “Miami should be able to get itself to net zero faster than other cities because of the sun,” he noted, highlighting the power-generation potential of solar panels.
Having lived in Miami for the last 30 years, Farkas expressed excitement about the growth of tech and finance in South Florida. “We’re attracting some amazing talent and companies.” The one change for the worse? The traffic – although Farkas said that self-driving cars might help. “Other than that, everything else is much better.”
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