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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Tennessee Blink Users,

Starting today, 8/29/12, membership fees will be rolling out to all TN L2 EVSE and the trial for fee-free charging will end - (DC Fast Charging will still be free!)

If you have yet to sign up for a membership plan, now is the time to register! https://www.blinknetwork.com/membership.html

Thanks! Let us know how your charging experience is!
 

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If what I'm reading is correct, Blink will charge $1 per hour for "Plus" membership. $1.50 per hour for basic membership, and $2 per hour for guest. Even the cheapest membership is almost the same price as gas!

  • 1 hour get's about 10 miles charge
  • For the Volt, 10 miles of gas requires about 0.28 gallons
  • 0.28 gallons of premium cost about $1.08

Where's the incentive to use Blink? You're paying the local utilities around $0.09 per kWh, and charge us $0.29, $0.44, or $0.58 per kWh??? That's not going to fly!
 

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I'm new here, but I tend to agree; at.09/kwhr,it doesnt make much sense to go out of my way to charge,when I can use gas at the same or cheaper rate,without the route planning and waiting an hour . Especially since our tax money is paying for this deployment...
A longer "warm up" period is needed, primarily due to the relative lack of EV's on the road...Just my .02...
 

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Blink's model probably assumed EV's with no option but a tow after discharge. The L2 charging market seems to have a lot of opportunistic players with respect to stations and equipment/installation.
 

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I used the BLNK charger at work and forgot to unplug it for about 1 hour and 5 minutes after it was full. So I was charged for 6 hours @ $1.50 per hour. That's $9 to drive home when if I just ran on gas it would of been about $4.00. So I'm done with that crap. They either need to make it stop charging money when the electric charge is complete and/or charge by the 1/4 or 10th of an hour or something. literally one second over and I pay for another hour. Now I just use the 110v outlet that is next to the BLNK charger. :p
 

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I find it interesting that Blink never responds to concerns Volt owners have regarding their rate structure. They just come on every couple of weeks to let us know the next state getting hit with fees and then they vanish into thin air. Not sure they even read the responses.

I plugged into a Blink at Ikea yesterday for the first time. I was there for about 45min and paid a dollar. I only did it because 1) I wanted to test my Blink card and make sure it worked (it did) and 2) there was another Volt there which is rare in AZ so I felt cool :). In this case it was only a dollar for what would have cost me about 70cents in gas, but I have no intention of doing this on a regular basis. And the only reason I'm getting $1/hr from Blink is because I signed up for their "Plus" membership because it's free until next Jan when it will cost $30/yr. I'll cancel mine before then.

So at $1/hr it's close enought to break even with gas that some of us would do it just to avoid driving on gas (for several reasons we all know). But then another $30/yr really kills it for even those of us with the noblest of intentions. Even if you charged the equivalent of a full charge 2.5 times/month for an entire year on a Blink commerical charge station (which I'm sure is way more than most of us ever would), that would still be an extra dollar per charge. I don't ever see that happening for any 3.3kW PHEV.

On the other hand, I was at downtown Phoenix this week and ran into another Volt owner in the City Hall garage. They have several Blink charge stations there and he proceded to plug in. So I asked him if these stations are still free (Blink turned on the fees in Phoenix a couple weeks back). He said he wasn't sure, that they used to be but now he thinks they charge to use them. So I asked him how much they charge and he didn't know! He was an older gentlman in a suit, looked like a judge. The type of guy that it didn't seem to matter how much it cost him - too trivial. I almost told him "Did you know you're paying more than the cost of gas?" but decided not too since I don't think he would have cared.

Anyway maybe if there's enough folks like that out there who won't even pay attention to how much they're paying then Blink and CoulombTech will do just fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all of your comments and we appreciate the feedback. Below is a quick summary of ourl pricing structure. We hope it helps!

1. Blink Plus membership is $1/hour
2. Blink Basic is $1.50/hour
3. Blink Guest is $2.00/hour
4. We are pricing by "Connection Time" rather than "Charging Time" - we felt billing hourly fees was the most equitable for EV drivers, hosts, and ECOtality. Hourly pricing also allows Blink chargers to be accessed at a standard price nationwide and provide revenue for care and maintenance costs. It is also a helpful way to get EV drivers to move their vehicles and free up space for other vehicles in need of a charge.
5. Lastly, our pricing structure is currently not prorated; once you plug in your EV you will automatically be charged the hourly rate. However, we do offer a 5 minute “grace period” from hour to hour.

Thanks so much - let us know if you have any questions!
 

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Thank you for regurgitating exactly everything we already knew from your website, and not addressing any of the comments and concerns presented in this thread.

Thanks so much - let us know if you have any backbone!
 

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I fear they will ruin EV chargers in Atlanta too.
 

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all of your comments and we appreciate the feedback. Below is a quick summary of ourl pricing structure. We hope it helps!

1. Blink Plus membership is $1/hour
2. Blink Basic is $1.50/hour
3. Blink Guest is $2.00/hour
4. We are pricing by "Connection Time" rather than "Charging Time" - we felt billing hourly fees was the most equitable for EV drivers, hosts, and ECOtality. Hourly pricing also allows Blink chargers to be accessed at a standard price nationwide and provide revenue for care and maintenance costs. It is also a helpful way to get EV drivers to move their vehicles and free up space for other vehicles in need of a charge.
5. Lastly, our pricing structure is currently not prorated; once you plug in your EV you will automatically be charged the hourly rate. However, we do offer a 5 minute “grace period” from hour to hour.

Thanks so much - let us know if you have any questions!

The conversation I had with a Blink rep on the phone last week (8/31) was comical. I asked the woman to explain the reasoning behind the "if I use the EVSE for 1 hour and 6 minutes then unplug, why should Blink charge me for 2 complete hours"?

Her only response was "Why would you unplug after 1 hour and 6 minutes if your car was not fully charged"?

Ummmm duh, because I have somewhere else to go....

I asked her if I only put 4 dollars and 10 cents of gas in my car should I get charged for $5 because I went over the $4 mark. She of course had the company line down about fairness to others and all of that nonsense. She proceeded to go on and on about the 5 minute grace period and the "ohh too friendly" text message that tells me I have 5 minutes to get to my car and unplug or I will be sh*# out of luck for the whole hour of billing.

Go to http://blinkshare.blinknetwork.com/blink and post about the bad policies Blink is operating under.

I still have access to 2 Blink units for free in San Diego and Orange County, but the other 200+ Blink units now charge
 

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all of your comments and we appreciate the feedback. Below is a quick summary of ourl pricing structure. We hope it helps!

1. Blink Plus membership is $1/hour
2. Blink Basic is $1.50/hour
3. Blink Guest is $2.00/hour
4. We are pricing by "Connection Time" rather than "Charging Time" - we felt billing hourly fees was the most equitable for EV drivers, hosts, and ECOtality. Hourly pricing also allows Blink chargers to be accessed at a standard price nationwide and provide revenue for care and maintenance costs. It is also a helpful way to get EV drivers to move their vehicles and free up space for other vehicles in need of a charge.
5. Lastly, our pricing structure is currently not prorated; once you plug in your EV you will automatically be charged the hourly rate. However, we do offer a 5 minute “grace period” from hour to hour.

Thanks so much - let us know if you have any questions!
Thank you very much for your response. I hope you are able to do something tangible with our feedback that will create a win-win for both sides. Currently, the win is not there for Chevy Volt owners.

Issue number one. I understand your reasons for the "Connection Time" charge... to motivate owners to move once charged. But using the hourly cycle is gouging. Instead, there should be 1 minute resolution time of use.

There's also another flaw in this method. Vehicles like the leaf draw more power while charging L2 than the Volt (6.5 vs 3.4 kW). Leaf owners will do better than gas, but for Volt owners there's no incentive versus gas. Given the amount of Volts on the road compared to the Leaf, you may want to re-assess your target market. If you move to an energy charge instead of time, you can still add a fee for staying connected, but it needs to be at a smaller time resolution.

Next, the biggest issue to discuss is Blink's cost structure being too high! What is the highest cost of maintaining these charge stations? Is it your communications network? Equipment? Installation?

Maybe moving to a smart revenue meter and outsourcing to an AMR (automated meter reading) service would help with your overhead cost. It certainly works for electric utility companies. Some smart meters come with a service disconnect (contactor/relay). The only thing missing from these meters to perform what your equipment is doing is the charge cord and the signal processing board that communicates with the car. And they do this for less than $100-$300 per meter (list price).

I hope Blink can find a way to make this work and benefit from the opportunity that the DOE has given the company. Again, the "Win" is not there for the Volt. If Blink don't find a way to make it a Win, somebody else will.... and Blink will lose out in the future.
 

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all of your comments and we appreciate the feedback. Below is a quick summary of ourl pricing structure. We hope it helps!

1. Blink Plus membership is $1/hour
2. Blink Basic is $1.50/hour
3. Blink Guest is $2.00/hour
4. We are pricing by "Connection Time" rather than "Charging Time" - we felt billing hourly fees was the most equitable for EV drivers, hosts, and ECOtality. Hourly pricing also allows Blink chargers to be accessed at a standard price nationwide and provide revenue for care and maintenance costs. It is also a helpful way to get EV drivers to move their vehicles and free up space for other vehicles in need of a charge.
5. Lastly, our pricing structure is currently not prorated; once you plug in your EV you will automatically be charged the hourly rate. However, we do offer a 5 minute “grace period” from hour to hour.

Thanks so much - let us know if you have any questions!
There are two blink charging stations at the airport in long term parking. Are you going to charge those who plug in and are gone for multiple days on vacation or business? If they are gone for a week and unable to unplug are they going to be charged $168 for being gone 168 hours even though they only used 2 hours of charging and anyone else that needed the charger could easily come and take the cord?

If so why even have them at airports?
 
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