I wouldn't mind if there system was reliable and I could COUNT ON IT when I need to extend my range further
Absolutely. What good is a free charger if it doesn't work?. So the issue here is reliability, and how can they get the reliability higher if they don't have a successful business model that pays for the upkeep of the chargers? If you need them working all the time, you need to pay for it. $1 an hour just doesn't cut it.
the problem with the price hike is that it will reinforce charge at home day to day and use public charging only when you have to. I'd like to see public charging utilized more for extending day to day activities, not just for once in a while jaunts out of town.
Which is perfectly fine. I eat at home daily and eat out when I am away from home and willing to pay 5 times for that privilege. I have no desire to skip charging at home and sit at charging stations for hours, even those guys paid me money.
Look, Leaf is a city car whatever said and done. Even if the QC speeds increase, it is still a city/errand car, and you should never plan your daily trips around these chargers. Maybe an occasional, 'O shucks, I need to get this errand done now and am so far from home' situation.