GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Experience with almost "free" Blink station install under DoE/SPX/Ecotality program

After a two months journey, we finally had the almost "free" Blink charge station installed through the SPX/Ecotality/DoE program. Our total out of pocket cost was $150, down from $600 of the original quote. Here is a brief summary of the pros and cons:

PROS:
- free 240V/30A/7.2kW Blink station with internet monitoring
- 3 year warranty on Blink station and installation
- almost free installation ($150 out of pocket)
- professional installation with quality conduits

CONS:
- complicated, time consuming process:
1) Customer must fill out a survey on SPX' website, which includes uploading of photos.
2) After a few days, SPX arranges an inspection date with customer.
3) Local installer shows up to inspect the install location (in our case, more than a week after submitting survey)
4) Local installer submits information to SPX. In our case, it took 1 1/2 weeks for the installer to submit the information to SPX. As per SPX, they give the installer one full week.
5) SPX prepares a quote based on the information the local installer provided. In our case, it took 2 weeks from the site inspection by the local installer.
6) Customer approves the quote (in our case, we went through multiple negotiations and contract versions...).
7) Ecotality sends customer an agreement. It took less than a day after I approved SPX' quote to receive the agreement.
8) Customer must send back the signed agreement to Ecotality.
9) SPX contacts customer to arrange an installation date. In our case, the earliest installation date was 2 weeks after I submitted the signed contract to Ecotality. Due to an apparent emergency, the installer had to postpone the installation for another week, i.e. the actual installation took place 3 weeks after I submitted the signed contract to Ecotality.
10) Local installer shows up, does the installation, collects the out of pocket balance from the customer (credit card) and is on his way to the next job. With existing space in the breaker panel, running a conduit of less than 40', and installing the Blink station, it took less than 3 hours for 2 people. In our case, there was no customer orientation.
- IMHO, while our out of pocket cost of $150 was nominal, the installation charge is significantly higher than it should be, reducing the number of potential installations until the DoE funds run out. Another local certified electrician quoted me $300 to add a 40 amp breaker, run the 35' conduit and install 240V outlet for $300. SPX initially quoted $1,800 (before the DoE incentive) and reduced it to $1,350 after multiple discussions and pointing out that the installation was not "Special" as they initially claimed. I understand that there is DoE paperwork to be completed but the difference is too much to justify that. Also, the installer did not provide the customer orientation as they were supposed to do. Maybe he figured that I got a bargain and did not deserve it...; not that I care - the user manual provides all the information needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Having just received my "$1800" quote, I'm hopeful I will work things out with them the same way you did. Sounds like a very similar install.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Having just received my "$1800" quote, I'm hopeful I will work things out with them the same way you did. Sounds like a very similar install.
SPX and the local installer love to bump up the installation category to "Special". Anything below 65' of surface-mounted conduit and an existing space in the breaker panel is supposed to be "Average". While I provided the measurements in the survey (approx. 35'), the initial quote came back with 85' of conduit... The local installer never bothered to actually measure the space during the site survey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
If you read their definition of Average it says up to 65' of surface mount and 15' of conduit. When is surface mounted wire an option? Mind is about 50'. But, my eVgo charger has conduit running the whole way, so I assume they need to also.

So, since there is more than 15' of conduit, I guess that lets them bump it up to "special". I may see about installing the charger closer to the breaker box. A little less convenient but for $600...

Average*: Your home and garage requires normal electrical system upgrades, such as new panel box breakers, the ability to easily run up to 65 feet of surface mounted wire and up to 15 feet of surface mounted conduit from a main panel to an attached garage, along with the hard-wire mounting and installation of the charge station, and any end-user set-up or training that is required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If you read their definition of Average it says up to 65' of surface mount and 15' of conduit. When is surface mounted wire an option? Mind is about 50'. But, my eVgo charger has conduit running the whole way, so I assume they need to also.

So, since there is more than 15' of conduit, I guess that lets them bump it up to "special". I may see about installing the charger closer to the breaker box. A little less convenient but for $600...
You are right, the "Average" install allows 15' of conduit only which is silly. I do not know the local code but I doubt that they would be allowed to surface-mount 240V wire without conduit. In any case, the restriction to 15' conduit is perfect for them to bump the installation up to "Special" which they define as "Your installation requires significant electrical system upgrades or extensive effort to wire and install the hardware in your charging location, the mounting and installation of the charge station and any end user set-up or training that is required." Running a conduit for 50' is hardly an extensive effort to wire...
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top