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How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:39 am
by Pipcecil
I am curious how car charging (blink) networks are doing since blink went bankrupt and car charging took over. I am not interested in home units but public units. Ever since blink went bankrupt and car charging purchased it, things have been going down hill in DFW. I will admit, despite Blink's poor customer service and poor reliability of their units (especially matching with their maps in status), car charging isn't doing any better and is doing worse.

1) Blink would repair units in a timely fashion, if you reported a unit down, they would fix it within a week maybe two. But almost always in a week. Car Charging has not repaired one unit since they acquired Blink, despite some units being down for almost a half a year (these are just level 2's) and in high usage areas.

2) Blink was decent at updating the online maps to reflect changes in stations (stations moving, new stations added, etc. - although station status wasn't always updated correctly). Since car charging took over, nothing has changed, despite the fact that stations have moved locations (map still shows in old location and still available!) and some have been removed! Not a single thing has changed in their online mapping

3) While Blink was pretty bad on the constumer service end many times (sorry the 4 units you tried to access are down and your a the turtle stage, but there is another unit 20 miles away at a dealership [its sunday they are closed in texas], you can charge there). But at least when it came to accepting station repairs they would get on it, tell you time frame, and sometimes even contact you when the station was availalbe again. All I can get now is "its on the list to be repaired" - even if its been on the list for 6 months, they can't tell me anything more.

So far, I have been dissapointed in Car Charging's handling of Blink. Yea, there was probably a big mess, but at least they could improve the customer interface problems. They are supplying a service and if you can't even do well on that, it doesn't matter if you are doing oodles of restructuring behind the scene - you still need to supply that service well.

Is the situation better in other areas? Has Car Charging gotten its act together and doing well in more popular plug-in areas like California? I didn't know if Texas or DFW was just a black sheep and everyone was experiencing awesomeness or if everyone is having the same crap we are dealing with.

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:33 am
by adric22
I pretty much don't plan any trip that would require me to depend on a Blink station in order to get home.. They are too unreliable.

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:38 am
by Severum88
It's the same situation in SoCal....least in the OC. In fact, in the three different visits to a blink station, none have ever been operative.

Severum

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:16 am
by RonDawg
I've only used a public Blink station once since the ownership change, but aside from taking longer than normal to authenticate my card, it worked OK.

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:18 am
by Randy
I think it is a tough business to make work at $1 per hour of charging...

http://insiders.morningstar.com/trading ... ountry=USA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:27 pm
by walterbays
Randy wrote:I think it is a tough business to make work at $1 per hour of charging...
Remember $1/hr was to have been the price for members who also paid a $50(?) annual fee, else it would have been $2/hr. The annual fee would have been an easy sell, as it would also give discounted access to an extensive QC network at $5/session instead of $10/session. But Blink never managed to build even a fraction of a viable QC network, due to unreliably designed hardware, questionable host site agreements, and in California, EV hostile PUC rulings on demand fees.

So with no viable network no subscriber base, and with no subscriber base no stable revenue stream to operate the L2 stations.

I had expected the first thing CarCharging would do is raise the L2 price to $2/hr. I hoped they would resuscitate the fragmentary QC network by replacing Blink hardware as it breaks with cheaper more reliable chargers, saving the larger investment in site preparation. I hoped they'd increase their profit and improve user service by adopting sensible fee models like EVgo, session price plus price per minute, with sessions possibly capped at 30 minutes, to discourage QC "campers." And I hoped they would expand the QC network to something close to the original EV Project plans with sensible host site agreements and 25 kW limited stations in some locations.

Unfortunately I don't believe they have the money to invest necessary to turn Blink into a viable business. Since the bankruptcy I've been watching for any signs that CarCharging really intends to operate Blink as a business. Other than possibly Tennessee I'm not aware of any public Blink public stations having been repaired. http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 62#p347762" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Oddly, they are spending money maintaining residential units from which they derive no revenue, but not public units which could make them some money.
Hmm, stock price down 22%, executive compensation up 1,215%. Where have I seen that before?

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:07 pm
by Wennfred
Blinks DCQC taking months to repair in San Diego, work orders are pending, I signed up with EVgo to take up the slack. At least EVgo is on top of things.

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:30 am
by cwerdna
walterbays wrote:
Hmm, stock price down 22%, executive compensation up 1,215%. Where have I seen that before?
Geez!

Per http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=CCGI+In ... ent&annual" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, in 2012, they only had revenues (sales) of $258K, yet they paid the CEO alone more than that in salary. Total key exec compensation was $4.37 million, which help explain why in 2012, the company lost $5.29 million.

For those where these terms are Greek.... they spent $5.548 million to generate $258K of sales.

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:13 am
by Randy
http://www.carcharging.com/wp-content/u ... 1-2014.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Some snippets...

Q: Have you reached a stage where you can recover costs?
A: At this stage, no.

Q: Do you plan on changing the Blink revenue model?
A: We are going to be shifting Blink’s payment model to our model, which is on a per kWh charging basis. That should be implemented over the next couple of months.

Re: How is Car Charging Group / Blink doing in your area?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:02 pm
by pchilds
The Blink DCQC at AQMD in Diamond Bar has been down for a couple weeks.

I have no problem paying by the kWh, but not $.49 per kWh for L2.