Zythryn
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:22 am

walterbays wrote:...
I wonder if Nissan can continue selling Leafs without Blink; without dependable public charging infrastructure a Volt looks much more sensible. And I wonder if that question was the motivation for CCG's acquisition in the first place. That is, might Blink be sold to Nissan? Or did they "just" need to complete the December round of capitalization in order to fund the necessary maintenance work to operate Blink as a business?
...
I think they can although it may slow sales slightly.
Here in the Midwest Blink chargers are incredibly rare. I am not sure about the south to east coast.
Speeding up the rollout of QC network where Blink chargers are most abundant may help.
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davewill
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:26 am

OK, I admit some confusion. There are not only two Blink locations at UCSD, there are 4 or 5, plus a few more locations within 5 miles or so of the campus. It is literally the last place in the county I'd expect to get stranded. I don't believe they could possibly all have been down. We've had no indications of a system-wide shutdown, in fact, Car Charging has indicated that they are actively taking on maintenance of the system.

What it really sounds like is that he was too close to empty and got really crappy customer service, and that DOES need to change.
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walterbays
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:18 pm

davewill wrote:OK, I admit some confusion. There are not only two Blink locations at UCSD, there are 4 or 5, plus a few more locations within 5 miles or so of the campus. It is literally the last place in the county I'd expect to get stranded. I don't believe they could possibly all have been down. We've had no indications of a system-wide shutdown, in fact, Car Charging has indicated that they are actively taking on maintenance of the system.

What it really sounds like is that he was too close to empty and got really crappy customer service, and that DOES need to change.
On plugshare it looks like around 12 locations within 5 miles, most with 2-5 charging stations each. But that's not the last place to get stranded. In a comparable area a bit to the west plugshare shows 65 locations. I don't remember whether blinknetwork.com has showed SDSU QC as being down the last two months, and that web site is down now so I can't check.

I thought from the title of this thread that the feared system-wide shutdown of all Blink locations had occurred, and the web site outage does nothing to allay that fear. I'm going to go look at one or two Blink locations to see whether or not they're turned on. *

Blink's bankruptcy aside, finding stations can be a problem. At this early stage of infrastructure deployment I do think all drivers ought to carry a device capable of viewing plugshare.com to find stations. Crowd sourced plugshare is most likely to give accurate information on whether the station is working. But also when someone calls Blink the customer "service" agent ought to be able to view not only blinknetwork.com but also plugshare.com and direct them to a nearby charging station, Blink or the competition.

Then there's the car's navigation system, which on those few occasions that my destination has been out of range diligently nagged me to divert to various charging locations. I'll bet, though, that the navigation system still has no idea that the SDSU QC is broken despite daily online updates for the past two months. Nissan could cut their towing bill quite a bit if they would improve the data feed to their navigation systems.

*PS, I "looked" at a lot of Blink locations on plugshare and saw many stations marked "offline" and only one, Oceanside Transit, that had a successful charging check-in posted within the last month. But I really looked at one location, Mitchell International near 805 and Governor, and their Blink stations appear to be working so I don't think that Blink shut down the entire network. They just had the "usual" problem of so many stations. Of 5 stations, 4 were occupied by what appeared to be fleet vehicles and this may well have been the reason that Mitchell installed the stations. One Leaf had recently completed a 5 hour charge. Three Volts were sitting in the spaces not even plugged in. I checked the touch screen of one of the VoltICEd stations and it was responsive.

PPS, blinknetwork.com is back up now and it does show the SDSU QC station as being unavailable, but shows 15 other (L2) stations on campus as being available.

PPPS, it would sure ease my infrastructure anxiety if anyone anywhere could cite a single instance of Blink having repaired a broken charging station since the CCG acquisition. Anyone see it happen?

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davewill
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:22 pm

walterbays wrote:... PPS, blinknetwork.com is back up now and it does show the SDSU QC station as being unavailable, but shows 15 other (L2) stations on campus as being available. ...
I'm assuming you're aware that the above incident happened at UCSD rather than SDSU.
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philipscoggins
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:35 pm

About 1/3rd of the Blink quick chargers were down a few months ago in Tennessee, but they seem to be slowly coming back online. So maybe they are just taking care of them one market at a time. Of course, one of the last one to stay offline is the one that I would use about once a month.

I am getting better at planning my travels to take advantage of Level 2 charging.
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walterbays
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:54 pm

davewill wrote:I'm assuming you're aware that the above incident happened at UCSD rather than SDSU.
Nope, my mixup. No wonder you said it would be so hard to get stranded around there (UCSD)! Blink network alone shows 65 stations in the immediate vicinity.

And thanks Phillip for the reassurance that Blink is doing maintenance somewhere! It doesn't seem like they'd spend the money and effort anywhere if they were planning on closing everything down. So maybe that December round of funding was to operate the network, and they'll start getting more stations fixed.

pachakutek
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:20 pm

I tried to reply twice yesterday, and the thread was either moved or locked. So +1 on using just ONE thread for a particular topic.

I just wanted to add 2 points:
1) I saw people charging on Blink stations yesterday (around 2pm), so I doubt ALL were down. However, I didn't try myself.
2) Many might not be aware, but Blink has a support website where they and other customers respond - if this is bugging you, and you didn't get proper support over the phone, you should post it there: https://getsatisfaction.com/blink

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davewill
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:25 pm

One thought just occurred to me. Perhaps the gentleman didn't have a Blink card, and was trying to get the station enabled over the phone. I do know that Blink has some sort of guest mode for that case, but I'm not sure how (or how well) it works. It's always good to make sure that the first time you try to use a type of station isn't when it's urgent.
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bwilliams
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:29 pm

We've been charging our leaf at UCSD charging stations (3 different ones) for many months, reliably. There was no reason to think that it wouldn't work yesterday.

I'm amazed at all the blame on this forum - like it was his fault for taking the car to work and expecting the charging to actually work as has for months. While all of you probably have the most amazing skills at using gps and finding charging stations I, personally, have found finding a station is a needle-in-the-haystack scenario at times. The blink map sucks and has been utterly wrong sometimes. My husband manages never to find these stations - yes, he's directionally challenged - so what? (we actually drive around looking for these things in our gas-burner before ever attempting to drive the leaf to one). How many miles and how much time should a person who is low on charge drive around looking for working stations??? Are you kidding?? At night in empty parking lots and garages? Now, that's good advertising for the leaf!

Thanks to those of you who understood the situation and the very worried spouse. And yes, the Blink customer support was atrocious. The last guy I spoke to made it sound like many stations were down and the fact that there were several leafs at the dealership, looking for a charge, indicated that as well.

Bottom line: drive your LEAF as though no charging station exists. That means we're back to the ice until the bigger battery (MS) arrives.

Oh, and we do use a blink card.

KillaWhat
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Re: Blink - Many (or all?) stations down?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:09 pm

bwilliams wrote:
I'm amazed at all the blame on this forum - like it was his fault for taking the car to work and expecting the charging to actually work as has for months. While all of you probably have the most amazing skills at using gps and finding charging stations I, personally, have found finding a station is a needle-in-the-haystack scenario at times. The blink map sucks and has been utterly wrong sometimes. My husband manages never to find these stations - yes, he's directionally challenged - so what? (we actually drive around looking for these things in our gas-burner before ever attempting to drive the leaf to one). How many miles and how much time should a person who is low on charge drive around looking for working stations??? Are you kidding?? At night in empty parking lots and garages? Now, that's good advertising for the leaf!

.
Wow...Nobody is Blaming you.

However, you need to assume some responsibility for your situation.
You got stranded because you ran out of charge.

You ran out of charge in an area with, as near as I can tell from plugshare, at least 50 L2 EVSE, and 8 DCQC chargers within 10 miles.

If you are directionally challenged, or GPS impaired, or whatever, spend an hour at home and make a list.
Do your "driving around" from your kitchen Table.

Go to http://www.plugshare.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Look at all the charging opportunities in your area.
Write the addresses down of the ones you like.
Stick it in the Glove box.

If you get in trouble, you have a list of alternates.
You are one of us; and we would like you to be successful.
Where you are located there is no reason to get stranded.
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