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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a Blink charge station at Kohl here in Arizona and was disappointed in complex way their system worked.........resulting in 'no charge'.

They allowed for free guest charge but you had to go to website to get authorization code (was not able to do at the time). When I get home, I go to website and find that to get a guest code, you have to provide your credit card and they indicate they will then process payment (I didn't do that).

Needless to say, I don't trust what they want me to do..........

Member charge works out to $1.00-1.50 per hour...........doesn't that seem high as well and there is a membership fee beyond the first year.

Am I missing something here?
 

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They issue you a free card in the mail when you sign up on the website. Once pressed against their icon the charging starts. I did my first Blink charge (I have had the card since September) yesterday and it was flawless. I also liked that there was a little grace period after each hour before the next dollar was charged.

It's not like sirius xm where they are calling you and begging you to charge your car with them every week and sending you unmarked letters all the time. Why not trust them?
 

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Member charge works out to $1.00-1.50 per hour...........doesn't that seem high as well and there is a membership fee beyond the first year.

Am I missing something here?
No, your not missing anything. Blink is a bad economic deal. Cheaper to buy gasoline. There are a number of other hidden costs for Blink as well. For example, they round up to the next full hour. if you charge 1 hour and 1 minute you get charged for 2 hours. So unless your a good clock watcher, expect the real price on the charge to be higher. Of course you also pay if your not charging but you are plugged in (ie when the car is full). Even at $1.50 per hour (if you can time it just right to get exactly 1 hour of charge) you are paying the equivalent of $6 gasoline. If you get the membership deal it drops to $4 a gallon (if you never slip into partial hours) but you still have to amortize the $30 membership fee.

Blink is built for the EV crowd who have no choice but to overpay. EREV drivers have no economic justification for using it.
 

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^^^ Well said! I used to own a LEAF and I still don't even use those Blink L2 chargers because it costs A LOT more than charging at home. I'd only use them in case of emergency. I use the CHAdeMO DCFC stations a lot more often because they're still free for now. But even when they begin charging a fee, I think their use model will be much more economical than the L2 stations. Even if not that much more economical, it still gives me the benefit of a much faster charge so I don't have to wait around too long for a charge.
 

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Several of the Washington DC area hotel garages have Blink L2 chargers that are free to hotel guest and monthly parkers. I signed up with Blink last May and they have waived the $30 annual fee for both 2012 and 2013.

I guess the building management must be eating the costs to Blink. I don't have a problem with this since I pay $295 a month to park and the free charge is a nice perk. I would not pay the $1 per hour rate.
 

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For example, they round up to the next full hour. if you charge 1 hour and 1 minute you get charged for 2 hours. So unless your a good clock watcher, expect the real price on the charge to be higher. If you get the membership deal it drops to $4 a gallon (if you never slip into partial hours) but you still have to amortize the $30 membership fee.
Actually it's 1hr and 6min (they give you a 5min grace period). And currently they are waiving the $30 membership fee.
 

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Blink Commercial is Miserable

We have 6 beautiful new Blink chargers where I work which usually are left sitting idle by the EV drivers in our building. Most days I have enough range to commute round-trip and run some errands without having to resort to using them. When I'm not going directly home after work, i will sometimes pay the dollar to add an hour's worth of electrons to the battery but it's a hassle to watch the clock and run back out before the next hour is charged. I'm often engaged in meetings and can't get back outside in time, which results in having to overpay. It's a major PIA and I find that their billing plan makes me hate them.

Several Volt drivers work where I do and we all avoid the chargers except for rare instances. Every once in a while a random Leaf shows up, probably desperate for a charge. Other than that it's really a waste of space because it's too expensive to use them on a regular basis and the spaces sit empty.

I'd probably use them if the pricing plan was improved. I haven't had any problem with my Blink account or trusting them, it's just a lousy pricing plan that's all. Sadly, Blink is the predominant charger network in San Diego and most people I know who use them also avoid them whenver possible.
 

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Premium is $4.15 a gallon here, so actually a full charge at $1/hour is slightly cheaper than gas. At any rate, it's quite close, so why not?
 

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Premium is $4.15 a gallon here, so actually a full charge at $1/hour is slightly cheaper than gas. At any rate, it's quite close, so why not?
In real life, it rarely works out to the $4/ gallon best-case scenario. In my experience it more often comes to $6- $8/"gallon" equivalent because of billing to round hours, even after the car stops accepting a charge.

To make the $4 gallon you'd have to need exactly 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours worth of charge for that to work on Blink because they charge for the whole hour or any portion thereof, except for the 5 minute grace period, and you need to unplug on time. So if you only need 90 minutes to charge you'd pay for 2 hours, as long as you unplug before the third hour starts. That roughly works out to $6 a gallon if you "fill up" because the remainder of the last hour is always wasted. It's too much effort to babysit the charge and the clock especially while at work.

Now if they offered discounted pre-pay plans with rollover minutes, like cell phone carriers, then I'd use it.
 

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Starting to see Blink stations pop up in the NY area and I was considering signing up for membership, very interesting. Thanks for the great information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, your not missing anything. Blink is a bad economic deal. Cheaper to buy gasoline. There are a number of other hidden costs for Blink as well. For example, they round up to the next full hour. if you charge 1 hour and 1 minute you get charged for 2 hours. So unless your a good clock watcher, expect the real price on the charge to be higher. Of course you also pay if your not charging but you are plugged in (ie when the car is full). Even at $1.50 per hour (if you can time it just right to get exactly 1 hour of charge) you are paying the equivalent of $6 gasoline. If you get the membership deal it drops to $4 a gallon (if you never slip into partial hours) but you still have to amortize the $30 membership fee.

Blink is built for the EV crowd who have no choice but to overpay. EREV drivers have no economic justification for using it.

Thought so......thanks.

At Kohls, in Phoenix, I believe the 'guest' rate is free BUT when going to Blink to simply get authorization code, they want my credit card and then they reference "payment processing". I just wasn't sure what I was getting into........thus not sure to trust their system, especially no real need for a charge. Sure glad I bought a Volt EREV and not pure EV.
 

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In real life, it rarely works out to the $4/ gallon best-case scenario. In my experience it more often comes to $6- $8/"gallon" equivalent because of billing to round hours, even after the car stops accepting a charge.

To make the $4 gallon you'd have to need exactly 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours worth of charge for that to work on Blink because they charge for the whole hour or any portion thereof, except for the 5 minute grace period, and you need to unplug on time. So if you only need 90 minutes to charge you'd pay for 2 hours, as long as you unplug before the third hour starts. That roughly works out to $6 a gallon if you "fill up" because the remainder of the last hour is always wasted. It's too much effort to babysit the charge and the clock especially while at work.

Now if they offered discounted pre-pay plans with rollover minutes, like cell phone carriers, then I'd use it.
Well, even if I only charged for two hours, it's still the equivalent of half a gallon of gas for less than what half a gallon costs here. I just looked at my receipt and it was $4.189/gallon at my favorite CostCo.

Edit: The only Blink chargers near me that I might use are at an IKEA, so there it's pretty easy to just go downstairs to unplug it, but yes, if it were at a movie theater or someplace like that it wouldn't work so well.
 

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The only public Blink I have used is at the Fairlakes Hyatt in Fairfax, VA and it is currently free. Perfect location as I pass right by it on my daily commute. So if I am running a little low, I can charge for a few minutes and make my commute 100% EV.

It does ask for my zip code even though I have a Blink card. Not sure why they ask for that info when no other charges I have used prompt for additional info. What are they worried about, someone else with an EV stealing/finding my card?
 

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It is added security to make sure it is your card. The gas stations around here do it. Why do so many users of this forum let these trivial costs and routine security bother them? Not trolling, but if your goal is to use EV only, paying a dollar or two helps you with your goal and may help encourage the nascent charging infrastructure.
 

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At Kohls, in Phoenix, I believe the 'guest' rate is free BUT when going to Blink to simply get authorization code, they want my credit card and then they reference "payment processing".
There's nothing free about Blink's "guest rate", despite the name implying otherwise. In fact, "guests" are considered people who are not signed up with Blink, so they're charged more. To be a "guest" of Blink, you go on their website and enter your credit card number for a one time use to be used within 24 hours. Then they provide you with a numeric code you enter on the charger for just that one time.
 

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I have no complaints about $1/hr. It's a convenience, not a necessity, since 95% of my charging is done at home. I use them strategically so I don't need to use gas, even if gas is cheaper (and it's not cheaper by enough to make a difference for me). My commute to my son's school is 17.4 miles, but if I have to run errands I stop by the library that's nearby and charge for an hour while working on my computer inside or walking around the corner to Starbucks. I'm glad we have such a good network of chargers in Phoenix, although I wish we had more variety of brands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have no complaints about $1/hr. It's a convenience, not a necessity, since 95% of my charging is done at home. I use them strategically so I don't need to use gas, even if gas is cheaper (and it's not cheaper by enough to make a difference for me). My commute to my son's school is 17.4 miles, but if I have to run errands I stop by the library that's nearby and charge for an hour while working on my computer inside or walking around the corner to Starbucks. I'm glad we have such a good network of chargers in Phoenix, although I wish we had more variety of brands.

Where in Phoenix are you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There's nothing free about Blink's "guest rate", despite the name implying otherwise. In fact, "guests" are considered people who are not signed up with Blink, so they're charged more. To be a "guest" of Blink, you go on their website and enter your credit card number for a one time use to be used within 24 hours. Then they provide you with a numeric code you enter on the charger for just that one time.

Yes, thanks for that info......exactly what I was looking for.

You would think that if you were a guest of Kohl's, they could program the meter to work a little
differently, for their guests. So, I'm guessing that you are a 'one time' guest of Blinks not Kohls.

Disappointing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It is added security to make sure it is your card. The gas stations around here do it. Why do so many users of this forum let these trivial costs and routine security bother them? Not trolling, but if your goal is to use EV only, paying a dollar or two helps you with your goal and may help encourage the nascent charging infrastructure.

Not if they round up to the nearest dollar for 1 minute over............

I don't think Volt owners need to pay for the whole infrastructure at this time........maybe when I get
my Chevy Spark EV, I will think differently.
 

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In my limited experience with ChargePoint stations that bill by the hour they seem to pro-rate the amount. For example, I charged at a station that was $2 per hour -- yes, I know, but the parking was free and convenient. I charged there for 90 minutes before unplugging and I was charged $3, not $4. I think I've only charged a couple of times at Blink stations that weren't free and I don't remember how their billing was handled for partial hours.
 
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