CarCharging Restructures Pricing Policy For Blink Chargers

SEP 3 2014 BY MARK KANE 24

In total, some 13,000-odd ECOtality Charging Units Were Sold To CarCharging

Blink charging stations

Contraction Of Public Charging Players Was The Theme Of 2013

Contraction Of Public Charging Players Was The Theme Of 2013

Car Charging Group, which call itself the largest provider, owner, and operator of electric vehicle charging services, announced new pricing policy changes (since September 2) and enhanced features on the Blink network:

  • kilowatt-hour (“kWh”) pricing,
  • reduced time-based charging increments,
  • program participation confirmation,
  • and remote start functionality.

kWh pricing isn’t new to Car Charging Group, as the company introduced it long ago.  Prior to the acquisition of ECOtality, Blink charged $0.49 per kWh or $2.00 – $3.00 per hour with a minimum of one hour required.

kWh pricing is now the base model for Blink Network.

For the Level 2 stations, prices are set from $0.39 to $0.79 per kWh depending on the state and individual’s membership status (Blink Member or Blink Guest), while DCFC costs $0.49 to $0.69 per kWh.

“To provide more appealing rates for EV drivers and to stimulate demand, CarCharging will introduce kWh pricing on EV charging stations owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in states where such pricing models are permitted. 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 the 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 the eligible states will range from $0.49 to $0.69 per kWh, depending on the state and individual’s membership status.”

In the states where kWh pricing isn’t permitted (at least not until you declare yourself a utility), fees are time-based with 30-second intervals (instead of the previous full hour).

Prices for Level 2 stations are set from $0.04 to $0.06 per minute depending on the state and individual’s membership status (Blink Member or Blink Guest), while DCFC costs $6.99 to $9.99 per session.

“Additionally, in response to customer feedback and to provide flexibility for Blink station owners, CarCharging will reduce the time increments for stations 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 nearest 30-second interval. Fees for Level 2 EV 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 to $9.99 per session, depending on membership status.”

Here is the full list of states and prices:

What is the fee to charge at a Blink Level 2 station?

StateBlink Member Blink Guest
District of Columbia$0.45/kWh$0.55/kWh
New York$0.49/kWh$0.59/kWh
All Other States$0.04/min$0.06/min

What is the fee to charge at a Blink DC Fast Charger?

StateMember RatesGuest Rates
All Other States$6.99/session$9.99/session

Michael D. Farkas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CarCharging stated:

“Since the acquisition of the Blink EV charging stations and the Blink Network last year, we have been looking forward to expanding our offerings such as implementing kWh pricing, which is the only fair pricing methodology, and remote start functionality, as well as providing multiple pricing policy options for station owners, including kWh pricing and options for setting time-based increments. It is our goal to ensure that the Blink Network is the most state of the art, economical, easy to use, interoperable and open network for EV drivers, charging station manufacturers, property managers, and owners.”

From other changes CarCharging notes:

“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 be noted on a participating station’s screen, and 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 Customer Support personnel will be able to initiate charging sessions remotely. CarCharging anticipates expanding this functionality to the Blink and CarCharging mobile applications in the immediate future.”

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24 Comments on "CarCharging Restructures Pricing Policy For Blink Chargers"

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So for my state about $14 to fill up my Volt. No thanks.

Good! Nothing more frustrating to a pure EV owner than a PHEV hogging a charger.

Wow. How selfish.

You been coal rolled recently? You deserve it.

And speaking of hogging chargers, your pure EV will hog the charger a lot longer than his Volt.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Then maybe your EV’s battery is too small?

Volts drive more electric miles on average than Leafs:

I haven’t seen any plugin car car “hogging” any NON-FREE chargers..

Free is the problem.

Assuming 35 miles per charge for a Volt and you get:
$14/35 = $0.40/mile

Nice. 😛

I drive a Volt in GA. Here it will cost $9.60. That’s like paying $9.60 per gallon for a hybrid that gets 38 mpg. I’ll pass as well.

Even with a 6.6 kw on-board it would still cost $4.80 per gallon equivalent.

The per minute rate is a bit steep when charging at 3.3kW. Good thing we can just pop down to the gas station. 😉
In WA I can fill mine for $4.19, assuming no losses, if I have more than 3 1/2 hours to wait, which will doesn’t happen very often. Still haven’t charged away from home in 9 months of Volt ownership.

Any break down on a state by state basis of the price increase?

In Tennessee the L2 hourly rate was $1 for members, $2 for non-members. At the new rate of $0.04/hr, that’s $2.40 an hour for members. While it is a steep increase, I do like the rounding to the nearest 30 seconds as opposed to whole hour billing.

The member discount is useful and on it states that “Blink Memberships are free, have no annual fee”

well, sort of. You have to put $30 in the account to start. So, they get the float on the money.

Hooray. Small time increments are the way to go. Clearly, hour blocks are ludicrous, especially with an L3, but even with an L2, paying $3 when all you need is a 15 minute hit is infuriating. Kwhr is good, but with small time increments, you incentive folks on L3s to watch the clock and move on when they hit 85%. (With small time increment pricing, every minute after 80% on an L3 gives you fewer miles for the same money.)

So does this mean that the various state weights and measures departments or public utilities commissions can now inspect and regulate the charging stations? Who assures the accuracy of the service and how will Blink handle complaints?

Are they going to update their mobile phone apps and web site to reflect the kWh usage and the ability to remotely stop the charging?

I’m in GA and a Blink member. Two times a week I drive round trip about 50-55 miles. What used to cost me about $2 cost me $3.89 today. I drive a Volt so it really makes no sense to use them anymore since it’s metered now by the minute and with my 3.3kw on-board charger I get half the energy of the more standard 6.6kw charger.

For my $3.89 I got a whopping 15 miles! If I had a 6.6kw charger then I would at least be paying somewhat of an equivalent amount to gasoline for the same range.

The charging units themselves can tell if the on-board charger is accepting 3.3kw or 6.6kw. Blink could have simply charged half as much per minute for those customers and made some money rather than making none. Not the best business model. Raise prices to make more profit but then make less profit because you priced a good portion of your customers out.

The unfortunate thing is I will be using more gas now rather than electricity because I refuse to pay twice the price of gasoline to Blink. Clearly $4 a week difference isn’t much but it’s the principle.

Time to write to your representative about the utility laws in GA.
This will only get worse for the early adopters with their 3.3kW chargers and newer cars and chargin stations get faster.

QCDC deployment or L1 charging for free will be the only two options that would make sense, one when needing a quick charge, and the other when staying overnight or at work. L2 will recede to its garage unless used as a freebie for attracting new business, Sadly CarCharging just digged its second bankruptcy grave.

A volt with 80 mile AER and 3 cylinder extender woul be all most people need and the entire network structure breaks down. Leafs will go to 125 miles and offer DC fast charging. And then there is Tesla speaking a different protocol of their own. I think that about sums up the future of EVs for a while.

Interestingly enough, the cost to charge up my LEAF stayed about the same… from “empty” to 90% (car won’t charge to full it it is < 50% SoC starting) was $5/session… then another session to get that last 10%.

On the other hand, the L2 cost increased by only about 60% ($1/hr for 6 hr charging vs 20 kWH useable at $0.49/kWH).

This is awful. As one of the “lucky” states that have per hour charger (although it is legal to do per kWh, so CarCharging is lazy, its cost me $4.70 for ~25 miles of range or 18 mpg equivalent. Wow, my father-in-laws truck spends LESS for gas. So, guess what? As a daily user I am a “never gonna use again.” user. Sorry CarCharging – in your grab for money you lost money on a steady every day customer (I have stations at work). Making public charging worse than a TRUCK is not the way to sell it.

Oh yea, my wife’s volt. HAHA as mentioned before – $9.60 to go 40 miles or $3.36 in premium gas to go 40 miles. I don’t think CarCharging knows how to do math because no PHEV will ever use their network.

Are Blink’s L2 stations still crippled to 24 Amps?

The industry is still looking for a viable/profitable public L2 charging business model. Aside from free charging as a marketing tool, I’m not sure we will ever see it.

Agreed, especially if they need these extremely high kWh prices to survive.

If people converted these prices to an equivalent gallon of gas, they would choke at the result.

This new structure almost doubled the amount I paid for charging. Therefore, I’m paying about 3-4 times more than what I’d be paying for gas for the same amount of miles. No more Blink/Car Charging for me! This is just another ploy to keep up dependent on the expensive gas and ruin the environment. It’s disgusting. The electricity itself costs a tiny fraction of what they’re charging. The profit is INSANE!