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Randy
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Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:16 am

email note was sent out this morning....

As the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry grows and changes, CarCharging continues to adapt to the changes in the market and makes adjustments accordingly. Since our acquisition of the Blink EV charging stations and Blink Network last year, we have been looking forward to implementing new pricing policies, which will be more equitable for the customer and offer flexibility for the station owner. Therefore, we are excited to announce that beginning on September 2, 2014, CarCharging will introduce various pricing policy changes, including kilowatt-hour ("kWh") pricing, reduced time-based charging increments, program participation confirmation, and remote start functionality.

Introducing Kilowatt-Hour Pricing
In order to offer more competitive rates, CarCharging will introduce kWh pricing on charging stations owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in states where kWh pricing is permitted. Currently, these states include California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, along with the District of Columbia. CarCharging is a proponent of kWh pricing because it is usage-based and EV drivers pay fees based on the actual amount of power consumed during the charging session rather than the amount of time that the car remains plugged into the station.

Fees for Level 2 EV charging stations owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in kWh eligible states will range from $0.39 to $0.79 per kWh, depending on the state and individual’s membership status. Fees for DCFC chargers owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in kWh eligible state will range from $0.49 to $0.69 per kWh, depending on the state and individual’s membership status.

Reduced Time-Based Charging Increments
To enhance our time-based charging policy, we will also reduce the time increment for stations owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network located in states where kWh pricing is not permitted. Time-based charging fees will no longer be rounded to the nearest hour, but rather, up to the next 30-second interval. Fees for Level 2 charging stations owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in non-kWh eligible states will range from $0.04 to $0.06 per minute, depending on membership status.

Fees for DCFC chargers owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in non-kWh eligible states will range from $6.99 - $9.99 per session, depending on membership status.

Program Eligibility and Remote Start Functionality
To enhance the EV charging experience, stations on the Blink Network that participate in specific promotions or programs, such as Nissan’s No Charge to Charge, will also display its participation on the station’s screen. Additionally, after a program participant’s card is swiped at the participating station, the appropriate program information will be displayed. CarCharging will also introduce remote start functionality via Blink Customer Support. On the driver’s behalf, Blink's Customer Support will be able to initiate charging sessions remotely. CarCharging anticipates expanding this functionality to the Blink and CarCharging mobile applications in the immediate future.

These features will begin to rollout beginning on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 and will update by market, depending on regional and host-specific factors. Drivers can become Blink members for free, review pricing policies, and pinpoint EV charging station locations on the Blink Network at www.BlinkNetwork.com or the Blink mobile application.

We hope that you will receive these changes positively and we look forward to continuing to fulfill your EV charging needs. If you have questions about these policy changes or specific Blink charging locations, please contact Blink Customer Support at (888) 998-2546 or support@blinknetwork.com

Charge On!

Blink Network

adric22
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:04 am

I got the same email. My favorite part is that they aren't going to round by the hour. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to unplug my car and found that I've been charging for 1 hour and 1 minute, only to get charged for 2 hours.
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srl99
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:15 am

4 to 6c/min - is $2.40 to $3.60/hr. You were pretty much better off paying the $1 or $1.50/Hr and paying for the next hour (statistically, I guess you would pay for an extra 1/2 hour).

cornerexit
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:26 am

srl99 wrote:4 to 6c/min - is $2.40 to $3.60/hr. You were pretty much better off paying the $1 or $1.50/Hr and paying for the next hour (statistically, I guess you would pay for an extra 1/2 hour).


Agreed.

I think that some will have to read this notice twice. It's not good. Unless I'm reading this wrong, it's as expensive to charge, or more expensive to charge than buying diesel for my previously owned Turbo Diesel VW.......factoring in what I'd pay for kwH and my mileage I get out of that.

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turbo2ltr
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:32 am

we have been looking forward to implementing new pricing policies, which will be more equitable for the customer and offer flexibility for the station owner.


What part of "more equitable" includes the prices are going up all around? :roll:
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walterbays
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:55 am

turbo2ltr wrote:What part of "more equitable" includes the prices are going up all around? :roll:
Well, at least I like the "more equitable" part a lot more than I mind the "more expensive" part. More equitable means 2011 Leaf drivers will no longer pay twice as much as 2014 Leaf drivers. Volt drivers won't pay more than Leaf drivers. Plugin Prius drivers might even not pay so much more (given their S-L-O-W chargers) that pumping gas is a smarter choice than plugging in. All those things could lead to more usage and more busy charging stations which could seem bad, but that in turn could lead to more charging stations.

More importantly this change means you no longer have to worry about staying just within a full hour increment to "get your money's worth." And it's no longer petty theft to unplug someone. If I only need 80 minutes of charge in one of those (too rare) locations with more open parking spaces than charging stations then I'm happy for someone who needs the plug more to take mine. Plug sharing might actually make a revival.

Most importantly this change indicates that CarCharging really is trying to make a business of Blink. They've repaired many of the QC stations and even opened a couple of new ones. If the increased prices and increased utilization bring them enough money to stay in business and keep Blink stations on the charging map that's all to the good.

PS - I still worry that perhaps Blink's host site agreements don't require adequate EV-only signage. Plugshare comments around here still indicate that many Blink stations are ICEd much of the time. On a recent trip where I needed to charge, a Blink QC station was located slightly more conveniently than an evGo station. But I realized that even if the Blink QC had been free I would still have chosen the evGo station which has had no trouble with ICEing.

cornerexit
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:30 am

This is nothing but a cash grab from a failing company. This change isn't good for ANYBODY.

They are going to get bought out by someone else shortly.

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JPWhite
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:22 am

adric22 wrote:I got the same email. My favorite part is that they aren't going to round by the hour. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to unplug my car and found that I've been charging for 1 hour and 1 minute, only to get charged for 2 hours.


I have found that there seemed to be a 5 minute grace period when first plugging in and going over the hour boundary. But yes that was annoying.

I welcome the reduction in rounding, but not enjoying the fee hike :-(

JP
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:24 am

turbo2ltr wrote:
we have been looking forward to implementing new pricing policies, which will be more equitable for the customer and offer flexibility for the station owner.


What part of "more equitable" includes the prices are going up all around? :roll:


Some of us are more equal than others? :roll:

Maybe we are all equally shafted. :twisted:
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Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:32 am

walterbays wrote:
Most importantly this change indicates that CarCharging really is trying to make a business of Blink.


Agreed they need to find a way to make a profit.

With a longer range LEAF and other EV's 'promised' for 2016 (2017 models), presumably to stave off Tesla competition, I see the need for public charging diminishing as better EV's come to market. This will be especially true for L2 public charging stations. Longer range EV's should hopefully increase demand for rapid charging.

I can't see how L2 can be part of a for profit business model in the long-term. L2 needs to be a loss leader for retail outlets trying to attract passing custom, owning and managing their own hardware.

Rapid Charging is something that should be worthy of a charging network. That's where the focus needs to be, but we have 3 competing standards that will make investors/companies hesitate.
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