Charging stations / membership costs

Overview

Besides a home charger, there are "public" charging stations. Very few free ones, and there are several "networks" out there, with various plans, costs, and locations as well as charging station types.

I'm confining my information mainly to California and mostly Southern California.

I'm paying most attention to the Level 2 charger systems, level 1 chargers are very slow, and the charger that comes with the 500e can plug into most ordinary 110v outlets. Similarly I am ignoring the DC fast charge stations since the 500e cannot use them.

 

"Finding" a charging station

I'll list various links to dfind stations here, both pc apps and smartphone apps.

One that I will mention right off is ChargePoint, because it shows stations from different "networks" and if they are working, and if they are occupied/available, and most important, allows comments from actual users

Blink

Now owned by "CarCharging Group Inc.", this used to be inexpensive, like $1 an hour for members and $2 an hour for guests.

It's now working by the kilowatt-hour, and in mide 2014 the costs effectively doubled.

The web site says membership is free, but misleading, you can get a "code" for free, but you get the "guest" rate. You need "Blink Plus" for any reasonable costs and that does cost. Non of the pricing is posted BEFORE you have already given them your credit card number.  There is a "Membership FAQ" page though, and go there first:  http://www.blinknetwork.com/membership-faqs.html

As of 10/2014 the costs are 49 and 59 cents per kWh for member and guest (notice that on the FAQ page, member= blink plus, and guest = member, yeah, a membership is free...)

I need to find out what the "deposit" is for "Blink Plus", i.e. membership.

Those rates, even in San Diego, are too high.

Another thing to realize, is that many of their stations are not full level 2, but 3.3 kW.

My conclusion, they have a good sized network, but very high cost, and many of the level 2 chargers are not really level 2.

 

Chargepoint

You have to leave $25 in the account. The rates look reasonable. I signed up and will report back.

Reporting back: I found a lot of the information in their system about charging stations was in error.

In particular, the hospital near me where I have stayed a few times, used to have chargers right at the main entrance, about FOUR YEARS ago. The chargers are now located in a large charging structure hundreds of yards away, tucked away in a corner.

No problem, you can leave user tips about that the chargers are really somewhere different, and I was not the only one reporting this, about a year ago.

Recently, a YEAR later, I noticed that the GPS markers are still in the wrong place, and worse, I get an email saying my "comments have been flagged"

The short story is that the map is not updated, and I was basically to go pound sand and it's the responsibility of the owner to update the GPS coordinates. (Long story is many emails flying back and forth, and today, the coup de grace is they want to close the support ticket I opened, with NO RESOLUTION.)

Well, Chargepoint, you have not only lost a customer, but earned a place a permanent place of NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION on my site. You looked good at first glance, but your unwillingness to provide correct information on charging locations, and your REFUSAL to improve the quality of your service makes you a NOT RECOMMENDED company.