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It's very hard to beat free. Blink may be big and ugly and wasteful but if it's free then it's a deal.
Not sure what you mean by big & ugly. It is kind of big but definitely not ugly. It is the first consumer grade EVSE - something that doesn't look like an industrial unit. They even hired an external design house for the design.

BTW, I got it installed on Wednesday. Ofcourse still waiting for the car.

 

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Stilgar and Voltage692,

Congratulations on the purchase of your Chevrolet Volt! We appreciate your eagerness to have your charge station installed and look forward to the opportunity to supporting you in that process.

As you know, SPX is deploying a nationwide network of electricians to support the Volt launch. As this network evolves, there may initially be some geographies that are not supported. We have an extensive registration, certification and training process for our electricians and every day we have more joining the program. Coverage in your area is already resolved or will be very soon.

Additionally we are in the final stages of deploying the ECOtality DOE program. As such, the Blink charge stations are not yet available. A few critical elements are being finalized and we hope to launch the program very soon.
Thanks for your patience. Please feel free to call us at 877-805-EVSE (877-805-3873) if you’d like more details on the status of your installation.

Thanks,
Barth
SPX EV Support
Barth,
Thanks for the reply. However, it is still very disappointing to start these discussions with SPX in Nov and I still cant even get a basic 'estimate' visit (which Im told is required before installation). The 'estimate' visit does not require the Blink unit to be available. Why does it take 4 months to get a electrician certified in the houston area? (You are gonna need alot of them soon..houston gets Volt allocations in March).
Also, I have been extremely disappointed in SPX customer service. Numerous time I have been told by SPX that 'they would call me tomorrow', or 'you will be contacted on x date' and...not ONCE have they actually called. Thats pretty poor service in my opinion...

Stilgar
 

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Hmmm ... reading the thread, looks like Ecotality & SPX are somehow connected ? Is SPX using Blink as their EVSE ?

Though it has taken a long time here, the assessment etc has been smooth. Ecotality scheduled everything on their own - and the contractors came on time and did the work efficiently.
 

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Not sure what you mean by big & ugly. It is kind of big but definitely not ugly. It is the first consumer grade EVSE - something that doesn't look like an industrial unit. They even hired an external design house for the design.
You must be excited to be getting your car. One thing at a time. Hope it shows up soon.

The Blink is just too big and it's way too industrial. I know they used Frog Design. Maybe it could have been worse. When you see it next to the nice little AeroVironment charger you long for smallness.
 

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Stilgar and Voltage692,

As you know, SPX is deploying a nationwide network of electricians to support the Volt launch. As this network evolves, there may initially be some geographies that are not supported. We have an extensive registration, certification and training process for our electricians and every day we have more joining the program. Coverage in your area is already resolved or will be very soon.

Thanks,
Barth
SPX EV Support
Oh no! Not another disaster like the AeroVironment certified installer kerfuffle that got Nissan so much dissatisfaction on the Leaf! I got an AV charger installed (in Houston). You guys are making this way too complicated and the certified installers are totally ripping off consumers. This is an incredibly simple machine. Any qualified electrician can install a dedicated 220V circuit into an existing box and run a couple of wires. I had my electrician do all the work on this and it STILL cost $700 for AV to come in an hang the stupid box and connect it to the wires my own electrician had installed.

Now AV is dumping the certified installer program less than six months after they started http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/201...tribution-deal/?scp=2&sq=aerovironment&st=cse

Just sell the box to consumers. There are plenty of qualified electricians in Houston who will wire this up for $100-$200.
 

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Barth,
Thanks for the reply. However, it is still very disappointing to start these discussions with SPX in Nov and I still cant even get a basic 'estimate' visit (which Im told is required before installation). The 'estimate' visit does not require the Blink unit to be available. Why does it take 4 months to get a electrician certified in the houston area? (You are gonna need alot of them soon..houston gets Volt allocations in March).
Also, I have been extremely disappointed in SPX customer service. Numerous time I have been told by SPX that 'they would call me tomorrow', or 'you will be contacted on x date' and...not ONCE have they actually called. Thats pretty poor service in my opinion...

Stilgar

Stilgar,

We understand your frustration, and wish that we could have started off with you in a more positive way. We’re still hoping to work with you to make your experience more positive.

You were one of the first / earliest to engage our process, and as such, you’ve been exposed to some of the growing pains that we’ve experienced as we launched our program along with the Chevrolet’s launch of the Volt. Like Chevrolet, we’ve prioritized our resources around the initial launch markets, in the same sequence as Volt deliveries (so for example, CA has received a lot of attention versus other markets … simply because the vehicles are arriving there ahead of other regions, like Texas). Simply stated, you were ready before we were. We believe we are now in a good position to support your area.

As for Customer Service, there is never a viable excuse for not following through. We believe that our execution is improving on a daily basis and can only ask that you give us the opportunity to redeem ourselves. While we cannot give you a firm quote until the ECOtality program is launched, we can get you a preliminary estimate. Note that the estimate may change once the ECOtality program details are fully determined. Our Customer Service team will reach out to you directly.

Thanks for your continued patience.

Barth
SPX EV Support
 

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I am pretty much in the same boat. In the Dallas Fort Worth area, SPX doesn't have a ready to go electrician for Blink installs yet. Also, SPX was expecting Ecotality to make an annoucement (I assume EV project specific details) last Wed and that didn't happen either. It seems very likely we will have our VOLT (already on CSX route to TX) long before we have our Blink. I get Ecotality e-mails and they sent one a few days ago stating some areas where the Blink installs were starting.. TX wasn't one of them.

Paul (Cari's husband)
 

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I was called by SPX to set up my 'estimate' visit in preparation for when they are available. I was out when they called so I returned their call today and gave them info on when I would be available. They said they would contact me once the had coordinated with the electrician.
We will see.....

Stilgar
 

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To catch folks up on status of the Blink installs, I spoke with Ecotality today and they indicated that moving forward with the installs for us Volt owners that qualify under the EV Project is currently on hold pending completion of contract negotiations currently under way between GM, SPX and Ecotality. The person I spoke with expressed some confidence that this would get done given it is a DOE funded program but did not have any update on potential timing or what the remaining issues are. Apparently there was a conference call yesterday between the three parties, but the rep did not know what the outcome was other than the contract wasn't done.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
SPX had the electrician come out to my house to estimate the install. The guy was really cool. My job is an easy one since my panel is in the garage and has room for the new breaker. Running the wire will be simple because the attic gives easy access. He told me it would be about half what the Ecotality program covers for installation, and that's already a higher rate than other chargers because the standards are higher or the Ecotality. He explained that the Ecotality charger is a commercial grade charger and that's why it has higher standards.

Now it's just a waiting game for the Ecotality.
 

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How to get the free Blink in San Diego

Ecotality press released on 2/22 that Blinks are being installed in San Diego and LA (http://www.ecotality.com/pressreleases/20110222_California_Los_Angeles_San_Diego.pdf). I am in SD and was able to contact an SD rep through the Ecotality contact list. The 1st thing is to take a survey describing your garage and utility box. The survey is on this website:

https://www.homecharging.spx.com/volt/Default.aspx

I was contacted by Adrienne in SD 1-619-272-4280. She handles coordination of the home installations. You get the Blink for free and $1200 credit for the installation. So as long as there isn't anything special about the install the whole thing is free.

To be evaluated for free workplace Blink EVSE units contact:
Steve Dickson
San Diego Area Sales Specialist
858.947.8882
[email protected]
Steve will have your facilities guy send out a survey to all employees to try and gage the current and possible future use of an onsite charging unit. Then they'll decide if they want to give it to your work for free.

I got my VIN in November and got a call from SPX in Dec about the free Voltec EVSE unit made by Lear but I passed since I knew installation would run a grand or more. Now that I know I am in the EVProject region, I am in the process of getting the free unit. By the way, the 120V EVSE that comes with the Volt, burns about 0.05 kWh every 24 h just being plugged in which costs about 1 penny at current rates.

Free is good. There are advantages to being an early adopter. I'll be posting on my Early Adopter Observations thread my experiences with this whole process.
 

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You must be excited to be getting your car. One thing at a time. Hope it shows up soon.
I now have both the Blink and the Leaf !


The Blink is just too big and it's way too industrial. I know they used Frog Design. Maybe it could have been worse. When you see it next to the nice little AeroVironment charger you long for smallness.
I actually prefer the Blink to AV. It is a little bigger - and keeps track of kwh used for each charging event. Very useful ...
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Did you get a free blink with free install?

I got an email from SPX that the free program has not started yet.

I now have both the Blink and the Leaf !




I actually prefer the Blink to AV. It is a little bigger - and keeps track of kwh used for each charging event. Very useful ...
 

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Ok, can someone help me out? I know that the chargers are free with the DOE credits and all, but I thought the installation was NOT covered. Now there's discussion about free installations as well and if that's the case, I am definitely interested in moving forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Ok, can someone help me out? I know that the chargers are free with the DOE credits and all, but I thought the installation was NOT covered. Now there's discussion about free installations as well and if that's the case, I am definitely interested in moving forward.
you'll need to check if you are covered with a free installation on the SPX website. I am :) Now if they would just launch the program officially, I would be extra happy.
 

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Ok, can someone help me out? I know that the chargers are free with the DOE credits and all, but I thought the installation was NOT covered. Now there's discussion about free installations as well and if that's the case, I am definitely interested in moving forward.
The EV project is Ecotality working with SPX and funded by DOE. The charger is free and the install (unless overly complex) is free as well up to $1200. If must be in the EV Project area and get SPX to approve you for the project. In the case of Texas for example, you would need to be in Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. If you are in Austin or San Antonio, they are not going to qualify.

Paul (Cari's husband)
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Anybody hear any updates?

In addition to San Diego, it looks like Oregon is getting some Ecotality love:
http://www.topix.com/us-senate/jeff...le-news-ecotality-nasdaq-ecty-commences-blink

Last I heard from SPX after the electrician came out was that I can pay $1400 out of pocket now to get a 240 charger installed unless I want to wait for the free Ecotality. I told them I would rather wait. Afterall, that $1400 is more than I expect to pay in electricity to charge the car over 5 years based on my driving habits. It doesn't seem smart not to wait.

I am in Texas, so hopefully Ecotality will launch here soon.
 

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I had my "estimate visit' by an SPX electrician but I have not heard the estimate yet. Also..they still say blink units are not yet available in texas. Great.... more waiting...

Stilgar
 

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FWIW I had SPX come out to do an estimate at my house in Houston last week. Very simple install (wires already run, breakers installed, etc.). SPX has come back with a preliminary estimate of $686 of which $225 is permitting fees. Waiting to get final information from Ecotality before finalizing the quote.
 

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SolarExec,

Hopefully your quote will not change after SPX gets the final details from Ecotality. We got a call from SPX and they are going to skip the "estimate visit" because I did such a great job with the SPX survey. I provided great pictures and details, so answered a few questions the installer had I am waiting back to hear the install price. I am in Fort Worth, so GO TEXAS and Ecotality! While the Blink is large, we look forward to the extras it provides and the hopefully totally free and soon install.

Paul (Cari's husband)
 
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