Gov. Moore, White House officials head to Blink in Bowie to tout EV charging


SemaConnect in Bowie, pictured on Oct. 21, 2021, was acquired by Blink Charging. Catherine Hollingsworth/The Bowie Sun

By Catherine Hollingsworth
and Ariyana Griffin

Bowie is positioned to be Blink Charging's largest manufacturing facility for electric vehicle charging stations as the company shifts overseas production to Maryland, Blink’s chief executive officer confirmed.

The Bowie facility located at Melford Town Center will expand by 30,000 square feet, making it the company’s largest facility and placing it at the center of Blink’s plan to meet increased demand for EV charging stations, Brendan Jones, president and CEO of Blink Charging, said in a statement.

“Blink establishing this manufacturing facility in Bowie marks a pivotal moment in our journey towards a greener future,” Jones said.

He added, “Blink is excited to implement these changes nationally and globally, with the nerve center located in Bowie.”

A grand opening of the new facility is set for March 11 at Melford, and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is expected to attend the ribbon cutting along with local leaders, White House officials and Blink executives.

The expanded facility is projected to manufacture over 50,000 charging units annually to meet the increasing demand for electric vehicles,  the statement from Jones said. That could mean 64 new jobs in Prince George’s County in the first year, reaching upwards of 100 positions within the next few years, he said.

Blink products that had been previously produced overseas will now be made in Maryland in compliance with the Biden Administration’s buy-American regulations.

Jones said, “The new manufacturing facility will become the central location for all of Blink’s in-house manufacturing and manufacturing for North America and a portion of Latin American products. In line with the Build America, Buy America Act, the new facility enables Blink to manufacture products domestically that were previously produced abroad.”

The Biden Administration has called on federal agencies to buy American for infrastructure projects, such as the national network of EV chargers. Last year, Blink announced a federal contract to sell EV charging units to the U.S. Postal Service fleet.

“Blink was awarded an initial contract to manage fleet operations and parking, and we anticipate further growth in this relationship,” Jones said of the postal service.

Under Maryland’s clean car rule, manufacturers would be required to sell only electric vehicles by model year 2035. 

Kim Coble, executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement that her organization welcomes Blink's state-of-the-art facility in Maryland. 

"As we work to meet Maryland's climate goals, including generating 100% clean energy by 2035, Blink represents exactly the type of manufacturer we need in our state. Their vision and commitment to advancing sustainable transportation solutions will play an important role in creating a healthier environment for everyone in Maryland," Coble said.

Demand grows for public charging stations

As the number of electric vehicle registrations continues to climb in Maryland, there are plans to add more public charging stations, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).

There were more than 96,700 EV registrations at the end of February, MDOT found. The highest number of registrations were in Montgomery County, state data showed. There were 1,609 charging stations in the state as of last month’s count.

In addition, MDOT counted 943 DC fast chargers, which can charge some EVs to 80% in 20 or 30 minutes, and 3,668 level 2 chargers, which take 4 to 10 hours for a full charge.  Montgomery and Prince George’s County had the highest number of DC fast chargers, based on MDOT figures.

Last month, Blink said the city of Frederick, Maryland had chosen Blink Charging for the city’s downtown electric vehicle charging solutions.

The City of Bowie installed electric charging stations at City Hall in 2021 when the company was known as SemaConnect, which was acquired by Blink.

As a result of the acquisition, Blink has “reaped the benefits of SemaConnect’s in-house research and development, hardware design, and manufacturing capabilities, all while leveraging our enhanced presence near Washington D.C.” Jones said.

State and county to help fund costs

State and local loans would assist with the project costs for Blink’s expanded facility. The Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $1 million conditional loan, while Prince George's County plans to provide a $120,000 conditional loan through the Economic Development Incentive Fund, Jones said.

Blink is also eligible for various other incentives, he said, including the More Jobs for Marylanders program and the state's job creation tax credit.

Melford touts `headquarter-worthy’ location

Currently, Blink Charging has headquarters in Miami Beach, Florida. Its largest manufacturing facility was in Tempe, Arizona, before the Bowie facility expanded.

Situated off Route 50 about halfway between Washington and Baltimore, the Melford location is “headquarter-worthy,” boasts the town center website.

Formerly known as the Maryland Science and Technology Center, Melford Town Center is home to a Census Bureau computer center, a research center of the Institute for Defense Analysis and Election Systems & Software. A shopping center and housing development is planned for Melford, which contains more than a 1 million square feet of commercial space, according to real estate firm St. John Properties

Throughout the Bowie area, there are more than 130 manufacturing companies, including Honeywell Ventures, ammunition supplier Eastern Bullet, NeVetica pet products and Pearl Rolling Papers for smokers, according to business data firm Dun and Bradstreet.

This story was updated March 11 to include a comment from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

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