Page 5 of 10

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:44 pm
by smkettner
If we must pay such a price then I expect better equipment. EVSE should be 50 to 80 amps rated. OK not all cars need this yet but should be available at those prices. Better user interface also.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:56 pm
by walterbays
Pipcecil wrote: It just means I won't use Blink stations anymore nor will I go out of my way to frequent places that have them either. It's not worth it unless I really need it. But since NRG eVgo has a bunch of QCs around I already pay for, I would rather fuel up there instead of using the blink at the actual place I am at. Sad.
Sad that what little competition exists is undermined. I'm also an eVgo subscriber, paying them $15/month to not have to worry about where or when I drive, in lieu of paying Nissan $5,000 for a new battery. But once subscribed to one network the incremental cost to use that network is low or zero, compared to a high cost to pay a competing network's a la carte prices. So second movers can't get a toehold in the market.

In Southern California Blink, under former ownership, had the opportunity to lock up the market and be in the dominant position that eVgo now holds, but they fumbled it away with slow build out and unreliable equipment. Now even if they offered similar subscription plans the choice would be between eVgo - comprehensive and growing QC network, fairly high equipment availability, very low incidence of ICEing - and Blink - incomplete QC network, poor equipment availability, high incidence of ICEing. So I guess they're left to seek non-subscriber occasional customers, and look for profit from high a la carte prices. But with prices higher than gasoline per mile they've abandoned the PHEV market.

I don't know how any region could end up with two or more healthy charging networks, with competition putting some pressure on prices. Sad.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:57 pm
by JPWhite
Pipcecil wrote: The range I got back (~25 miles) was the equivalent of a 18 mpg vehicle. My father-in-laws big truck doesn't even get that bad of mileage. When it cost more to fuel my EV than a truck it makes me think someone didn't think this pricing all the way through.
I had a similar experience today. 9 Miles range added per LEAFSpy pro. Cost $1.70. About 19c per mile of range.

I do think we will be boycotting Blink stations, not on a a matter of principle, but based on finances.

Had they offered a 'monthly plan' they may have been able to increase their revenues, this way they can expect revenues to fall like a brick.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:01 pm
by JPWhite
Pipcecil wrote:nor will I go out of my way to frequent places that have them either.
As a charging host I would now be looking for a way to get off the network and either buy the units from Blink and turn them into dumb charging stations, or replace them with Clipper Creek units.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:03 pm
by GRA
mbender wrote:
GRA wrote:They won't, and unless public L2 costs less than gas, people living in apartments with no charging available (like me) will stick with gas.
leafo wrote:Too bad for me, as I live in an apartment...
Not sure how well-known this is, the details, and/or when it will go into effect, but just before adjourning for the summer, the California legislature passed a bill allowing renters to have chargers installed in their complex(es) if they want one.

It hasn't been signed by Brown yet, but I suspect he will.
I'm aware of it, and for apartments on their own meters that may work. Just as an example of the issues some may face, in my case I share a meter with the main house and utilities are included in my rent, so I'd have to pay for a new service and meter, or else pay considerably more on my rent based on some estimate. Not going to happen.

Wandered by my local Blinks today to see if they'd changed over to the new billing, and found all but one of the L2s switched over ($0.49/kWh members, $0.59/kWh guests), but the QCs still show the old flat rate. Oddly enough, there were three LEAFs and a Volt charging or about to, the most spots I've ever seen in use here at once. Talked to a new Volt owner who was just getting ready to charge, and found he was unaware of Hold mode (my impression is that he was unaware of any of the mode selections, as I had to show him where the button was), and based on his claim that charging at home took 14 hours, also unaware that the portable EVSE defaults to 8 amps but could be set to 12. Just another example that the majority of the people who buy cars aren't as into the technical aspects as many of us here. Pointed him towards gm-volt.com.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:00 pm
by lkkms2
Today I charged at both an NRG QC and Blink QC in San Diego. I am happy to see more EV infrastructure.

90%+ of the time I charge at home during off peak. The other % of the time I am happy to pay more and have more flexibility to drive more and do more things without using gasoline :)

I agree for those that rent or can not charge where they live, it would be good to have some base monthly membership fee with a lower per kWh fee. Paying by the kWh is okay by me.

It does not make sense for a Tesla to suck goobs of kWhs of electricity for a dollar an hour while another slower charging vehicle pays the same per hour.

Need to maintain the infrastructure.

One thing Blink could do better is let us know when they have upgraded a location. I think I will give them a call about that tomorrow.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:27 am
by JPWhite
lkkms2 wrote:
One thing Blink could do better is let us know when they have upgraded a location. I think I will give them a call about that tomorrow.
The Blink map online or in the mobile app tells you the billing structure for each location. So essentially they have informed us of locations where the new scheme is in force.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:14 am
by walterbays
JPWhite wrote:The Blink map online or in the mobile app tells you the billing structure for each location. So essentially they have informed us of locations where the new scheme is in force.
I haven't looked at the Blink map for many months, since it always reported as in service a great many stations that were actually broken. Have they started providing accurate information?

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:04 am
by pkulak
walterbays wrote:
JPWhite wrote:The Blink map online or in the mobile app tells you the billing structure for each location. So essentially they have informed us of locations where the new scheme is in force.
I haven't looked at the Blink map for many months, since it always reported as in service a great many stations that were actually broken. Have they started providing accurate information?
It has seemed accurate to me lately. As in, most say they are inoperable on the map.

Re: Blink changes billing model for public charging

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:06 am
by JPWhite
pkulak wrote:
walterbays wrote:
JPWhite wrote:The Blink map online or in the mobile app tells you the billing structure for each location. So essentially they have informed us of locations where the new scheme is in force.
I haven't looked at the Blink map for many months, since it always reported as in service a great many stations that were actually broken. Have they started providing accurate information?
It has seemed accurate to me lately. As in, most say they are inoperable on the map.
Blink / Carcharging have clearly made some back-end improvements. The dashboard for instance renders much more quickly, station status tends to be updated quickly.

However the state of units in the field, (although initially improved after the purchase of Blink by Carcharging), has deteriorated once again, with units going un-serviced 2+ months after a case being established/acknowledged by customer support. They don't seem to send out maintenance crews very often or at all from what I can tell.

Judging by their financial losses and poor field maintenance, they are looking very much like Blink did before they declared bankruptcy. Maybe Car-charging can generate some private funding to keep them going where Ecotality couldn't.

Reflecting on what initially looks like a suicidal pricing structure, I've come to the conclusion they may not be as crazy as it first appears they are. One thing that may save them is "no charge to charge". It maybe that revenues from individual members may not be their primary focus anymore. CarCharging maybe raising prices to get more money faster, mostly out of the Nissan "no charge to charge" program. They may be able to shore up their balance sheet in the short term and sellout before they implode. No charge to charge could keep them limping along for 2+ years.