Blink vs. ChargePoint: Which EV Charging Infrastructure Stock Is Best?
Blink Charging Co. (BLNK) and ChargePoint Holdings Inc. (CHPT) are the leaders in the rapidly growing market for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Learn more about the industry and what makes each stock tick.
Matt Johnston Updated April 8th, 2022
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Blink vs. ChargePoint: Should you invest in EV infrastructure?
According to estimates from IHS Market, by 2035 45% of new car sales will be electric vehicles (EVs). That represents a massive growth opportunity for EV charging companies, considering that EVs represent less than 1% of the vehicles on U.S. roads today.
However, around one-half of adults hesitate to buy an EV because they worry about the lack of charging infrastructure. EV charging companies face the chicken and egg problem of building the infrastructure before the demand is there to encourage the growth in that demand.
The problem is actually more nuanced than the lack of chargers. It’s about the lack of the so-called “on-the-go” charging infrastructure. Owners of traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles can generally fuel up in less than 10 minutes. Charging an EV can take between 20 minutes and 20 hours or more.
Much of the time it takes depends on the type of charger. Level 1 EV chargers supply between two to five miles of additional range per hour of charging. Level 2 chargers supply between ten and 20 miles of added range per hour. Level 3, or direct current fast chargers (DCFCs), supply between 60 and 80 miles of added range per 20 minutes of charging.
Building higher-level chargers that provide on-the-go charging is expensive. EV charging demand is still too low to cover all of the costs of building this charging capacity. Companies making such chargers must put off profitability in the short term in hopes of long-term growth in EV adoption.
EV charging companies are looking to transform a dream into reality. If you build it, they will come.
Blink vs. ChargePoint: What makes each stock special?
- Blink designs, owns, and operates EV charging equipment. Their cloud-based software network tracks all the charging stations in it
- Unlike Blink, ChargePoint has an asset-light business model, selling chargers to over 5,000 customers. Their charging network includes over 170,000 charging ports
Blink is a leader in the EV charging equipment market. The company, founded in 2009, owns and operates EV chargers and provides network services in the U.S. and globally. Blink offers both Level 2 chargers and DCFCs and its cloud-based Blink Network tracks the charging stations in it.
The company’s commercial partners include property owners, managers, parking companies, and state and municipal governments or agencies. Blink offers a variety of partnership options for increased flexibility. Its partners allow Blink to install chargers on their properties to collect a small fraction of revenue, or they pay for the charger and installation costs to garner a larger share of the revenue.
ChargePoint, founded in 2007, operates one of the largest charging networks in the world. The company has primarily focused on building Level 2 chargers. It plans to continue expanding its market share in Level 2 charging, but it also wants to increase its share of the Level 3 fast-charging market.
ChargePoint’s chargers can be found in people’s homes, workplaces, retail, and hospitality locations, as well as parking lots. The company sells its charging stations upfront and receives separate payments for its cloud-based network services or offers both the hardware and network services as a bundled subscription package with an annual fee.
One of the things that make ChargePoint stand out is its sheer size. On top of the 174,000 charging ports in its network, the company provides access to over 300,000 additional ports in North America and Europe through its network apps.
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ChargePoint has an asset-light business model
- Blink owns some of the charging stations, so they can make money on electricity and ads besides selling the chargers
- ChargePoint doesn’t own charging stations, so it makes money on selling chargers and related software
Unlike Blink, ChargePoint has a capital-light business model. Most of the company’s charging sites and stations are owned by its customers. This allows the company to focus on developing new products and acquiring new customers.
Blink’s specialty offerings: portable chargers and ride sharing
Blink offers several specialty products and services that not all EV-charging companies provide. For one, Blink makes mobile EV chargers to provide roadside assistance to EV owners who may desperately need a charge but are nowhere near a charging station.
The company also operates its own ride-sharing platform in Los Angeles. The platform enables customers to rent EVs via a subscription service. It is operated by Blink’s subsidiary, BlueLA Rideshare, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles.
Who has the larger network, Blink or ChargePoint?
- Blink’s network includes 32,000 charging locations
- ChargePoint has the largest Level 2 charging network and the greatest number of charging locations
ChargePoint has the largest network out of the two companies. The company had approximately 174,000 charging ports on its network as of Jan. 31, 2022. About 11,500 of those are Level 3 DCFCs.
Blink had more than 30,000 charging ports as of March 10, 2022. That means its network is less than a fifth of the size of ChargePoint’s network.
Blink vs. ChargePoint: Recent performance
The shares of both companies have slumped recently, though Blink’s stock declined less this year through April.
|Blink Charging Co (BLNK)||-45%||-7%|
|ChargePoint Inc (CHPT)||-41%||-16%|
Data as of 4/8/2022
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Blink vs. ChargePoint: Valuation
|Company||Market Capitalization||Enterprise Value / FY23 Revenue|
|Blink Charging Co (BLNK)||$1.1 billion||15.8x|
|ChargePoint Inc (CHPT)||$6.0 billion||7.7x|
Data as of 4/8/2022
ChargePoint, a much larger stock based on market capitalization, currently looks like a better deal based on the 2023 forward enterprise value (EV)/revenue ratio. Enterprise value is a financial metric for valuing a company that includes the company’s market capitalization plus both its short-term and long-term debt minus the cash on its balance sheet. The EV/revenue ratio gives you an idea of how much you’re paying for the company per dollar of sales or revenue the company generates.
Note that both companies are unprofitable. EV charging companies must be willing to forego profitability in the short term in hopes that EV adoption continues to grow.
💰 Blink vs. ChargePoint takeaway
- ChargePoint looks cheaper than Blink based on valuation metrics, showing that investors are preferring the company that owns some of the charging stations (Blink) to the stock that mostly provides hardware (ChargePoint).
- ChargePoint has more revenue, charging stations and market cap, but Blink looks positioned to grow faster. So there is a risk and return trade-off: more risk-averse investors can choose ChargePoint, and investors who are looking for more upside can choose Blink.
- Blink and ChargePoint are not the only options available if you’re looking to invest in EV charging companies. A few other EV charging investment options include EVgo (EVGO), Volta (VLTA), and Beam Global (BEEM).
🔔 Learn how ChargePoint compares to EVgo, a fast-charging station operator.
NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.
Author: Matt Johnston
Matt is a finance and economics writer with seven years of professional writing experience, including over five years at Investopedia. He also sometimes teaches macroeconomics at St. Stephen’s University. But his intellectual interests are not limited to the world of finance and economics—he also enjoys reading history and philosophy as well as learning new languages, both natural and programming. Matt currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.