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Blink six cents a minute - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Hookemhorns, May 24, 2016.

  1. Hookemhorns

    Hookemhorns Member

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    There's a level 2 Blink charging station near me, and their website says the cost is 3 cents every 30 seconds (that's $3.60 per hour).

    Level 2 at Blink - they don't say their charging power, but assuming 30 amps, J1772, does that add about 20 miles/hour? Seems agonizingly slow and expensive. Just to all 100 miles would take 7 hours and cost $25.

    Are my off the cuff calculations right here?

    I've also seen some Blink stations priced by the kWh. One is 49¢ per. If a kWh gets me about 3 miles, that rate translates to maybe $16 for 100 miles. Still seems high.

    Reading repeated posts that the Blink network is well named ("on the blink" a lot…not working), and these prices. seems to me this is more of a safety net than something useful.
     
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  2. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Absolutely - they're more of a safety net.

    A J1772 charger is so slow that it's not actually useful except at your home or office anyway - neither of which would be running Blink.

    So if you are using a Blink J1772 charger then you're already in a bind where you couldn't find anything else, and then the $25/hour is an insurance policy to make sure the charger is kept relatively unused except for those who desperately need it.

    I'm not sure if that was Blink's intent with their business model, but it works out well for Tesla owners.

    Some say Tesla should do something similar with Superchargers as well. (duck).
     
  3. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I must disagree that J1772 chargers are useless except at home or office. I've made several trips slightly beyond battery range where spending a few hours at a J1772 while we did our thing made the difference between going straight home and having to make a significant detour to a Supercharger.

    The rates are definitely quite high. My residential electricity is about 13 cents/kWh, so they're charging a nearly 300% premium compared to that. Still would be worth it if it was the only option, of course.
     
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  4. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    It's likely [email protected], so it's even more expensive than you think. These guys have a terrible business model.

    Tesla can convince thousands and thousands of local businesses to install effectively free charging for patronizing their business. I don't see how a company like blink is going to survive, especially as "emergency charging" becomes more and more rare.
     
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  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    If you need to use a Blink station to make your trip work, just pay it and think of all the gas money you don't spend every week. I have a Chargepoint card (and an EVGO one) and occasionally use them for Chademo charging and a couple of times for charging overnight across the street from a hotel I was staying at. In the big scheme of things, it isn't a lot of money.

    I feel sorry for the charging networks though. Everyone focuses on the markup they make on kWh, but they don't see their huge maintenance expenses. Yeah Blinks are often broken, but that just means they have to spend a lot of money repairing them, and they just don't make enough money on their kWh markups to pay for proper maintenance.
     
  6. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    As I am still driving a Volt waiting for the Model 3 I see these networks that charge huge amounts of money for charging. With my range extender, it just doesn't make sense to charge at these units. Its considerably cheaper to simply use gas. I wish they were not so expensive.

    During a trip to San Diego, I could not find a charger that would cost over $5 for a charge for my tiny Volt battery. All I could think is that would have been a expensive trip if I had my Tesla.
     
  7. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    That's because their hardware is garbage, just like chargepoint. It's electric, it's supposed to be super-low maintenance.
     
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  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Calculating as pennies/kWh is convenient

    One kWh costs:
    Average cost to US home: 12 cents
    California peak in expensive are: ~ 35 cents
    Your Blink: 360/~7kWh = 52 cents

    I sort of feel sorry for these companies. They heeded the call of EV advocates and are losing their shirts.
     
  9. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    It's hard to feel sorry for the networks because of equipment expenses. I can't help but compare against my home installation, which cost me about $1,150 total. I run probably 3,600kWh/year through it, so if it lasts four years, that's an extra 8 cents/kWh in capital costs. I'm sure the public chargers are significantly more expensive, but they should also get a lot more use. If they don't, they messed up figuring out their market.
     
  10. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Cost of electricity in California averages .24/kwh and caps at .58/kwh summer on peak. (PG&E)

    Considering the cost plus EVSE's repairs and overhead I don't see it out of line. I appreciate it when they are there and useful for me.
     
  11. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    Most of the older Blink stations have been turned down to 24A (usually at 208V). There were some issues with the connector overheating. I have an old Blink home charger (not usually plugged in), but it also only does 24A.
     
  12. Fresh Start Detail

    Fresh Start Detail Local Vendor - Northwest

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    Spot on! We got a Blink charging station installed at our business for free several year ago (part of a Federal program) and after about the first 18 months the unit was down for maintenance more than it was active. No response from the company after awhile so I just turned it off altogether to keep potential charging clients from getting frustrated when the unit didn't work. We allowed anyone to charge for free; they still had to have a Blink account but we never looked at it as a profit center, more just trying to be proactive in the EV world.
    Now I'm looking into another charging station that I'll probably just install inside our shop and use it for clients only. Not sure if I want to go with a Tesla wall charger or some generic model that we can charge any EV with, or since I own the Blink charger maybe I can hack that thing and bypass any computer controls and just go straight to the J1772 handle, hmmmm.
    Thing is, we get more Teslas in our shop than any other brand of EV combined, soooooo I think I just answered my own question.
     
  13. davewill

    davewill Member

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    Hacking it as you describe is pretty easy. You simply disconnect one connector and it acts as a dumb EVSE. See here:
    Mods for the Blink EVSE ! (was Fix) - My Nissan Leaf Forum

    I still use my original home Blink from 2011. I had to replace the cord and handle, but I haven't had to lobotomize it as described in the linked thread. Plenty of people have, though.
     
  14. Fresh Start Detail

    Fresh Start Detail Local Vendor - Northwest

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    Awesome info in that 20 page thread davewill, thanks man!
    As soon as I have time I'm lobotomizing my commercial Blink station so we can charge client's cars while we detail them.

     
  15. freds

    freds Member

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    Actually I like the $0.49 cents per kilowatt.

    I park plug in and then turn the charge rate way down; hey I am plugged in and charging!!!
     
  16. davewill

    davewill Member

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    I know you're joking, but if someone actually did this it would be a pretty stinky thing to do.
     
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  17. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Most (all?) of the charge networks are losing money right now despite the higher prices.

    I think the biggest issue when people compare is that they look only at the electricity costs and ignore a boat load of other costs. However the actual "fair" comparison is to consider also the capital cost of installing the station (which typically needs trenching, unlike in your home garage), cost of fixing it when it is broken (a public charger will see more traffic and people will not use it with the same care as a home charger), and providing billing and support.
     
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  18. Fresh Start Detail

    Fresh Start Detail Local Vendor - Northwest

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    All good points to which I would add; parking lot logistics for the business (being the referee whenever a non-EV parks in that spot), giving up prime parking locations to people who may never set foot in your door nor spend any money there, absorbing negative reviews on Yelp/Google for the business when someone has a bad experience with just the charging unit (in our case it was one of the crappy Blink boxes)... I'm sure others could add more.
     

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