The first public bite on Tesla open casting call for its electric vehicle patents has been made by CarCharging, which says it wants to integrate the California automaker's EV charging tech into the Blink Network. Now, this does not mean that Blink chargers will soon be able to Supercharge. Instead, Blink wants to add Tesla-capable adapters to its charging stations. CarCharging and Blink can do this because Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that, "Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."

Currently, to get juice at most public chargers, Tesla Model S drivers need to use a public charging station adapter. Today's Level 2 charging stations use the J1772 standard, which does not fit on Tesla's cars. Once the Car Charging Group digs through the patents and comes up with its own Tesla connector cable, the adapter will not be necessary. Of course, the adapter comes standard with every Model S, so CarCharging's announcement is almost a solution looking for a problem. At the very least, this does make living with an EV easier one step easier.

CarCharging purchased the troubled Blink network from Ecotality last fall after that company filed for bankruptcy protection. Looking forward, CarCharging says is it "actively working with other major EV charging networks on various interoperability initiatives." Find more details below.
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CarCharging Intends to Integrate Tesla Motors' Electric Vehicle Charging Technology into its Blink Network

June 19, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

Leaders in Electric Vehicle and Charging Infrastructure Expand Access to Technology and Services to Benefit EV Drivers and the Industry

Car Charging Group, Inc. (OTCQB: CCGI) ("CarCharging"), the largest owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging services and owner of the Blink Network, one of the largest EV charging networks, announced its intention to integrate the Tesla Motors' EV charging technology into Blink EV charging stations. According to the blog on the Tesla Motors' website dated June 12, 2014, Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, stated that the company would "not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology". Mr. Musk noted that the decision to provide access to the patents is "in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology" and that "Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform".

While Tesla Motors' Model S currently includes an adaptor for the J1772™ connector, the standard for public EV charging stations and compatible with EVs sold in North America, CarCharging anticipates incorporating the technology of Tesla Motors' charging port into Blink charging stations as well as the Society of Automobile Engineers' (SAE) new J1772™ DC Fast Charging combo coupler. By integrating these charging ports and connectors with its current J1772 and CHAdeMO connectors, CarCharging will expand the charging options currently available for EV drivers, including CarCharging's network of 119 DC Fast Chargers, the largest network of DC Fast Chargers in the United States.

CarCharging is further expanding its network of DC Fast Chargers by actively working with Nissan to deploy quick chargers in key markets throughout the United States. CarCharging has also partnered with Gridscape Solutions, a software and service company that specializes in designing and developing a broad range of smart energy solutions, to integrate Nissan's DC Fast Chargers with the Blink® Network, the software that operates, monitors, and tracks the Blink EV charging stations and all of its charging data.

"Like Tesla Motors, CarCharging believes that the market potential for electric vehicles is vast and we are dedicated to doing all that we can to assist in its acceleration," said CarCharging Founder and CEO, Michael D. Farkas. "By sharing its technologies, Tesla Motors provides CarCharging with the ability to leverage all of the locations in its portfolio and offer a solution that is compatible for all EV drivers, which is a win-win for the drivers and the industry."

CarCharging shares Tesla Motors' commitment to the development of the EV market and is also actively working with other major EV charging networks on various interoperability initiatives. CarCharging recently launched the CarCharging mobile application ("app"), the first truly interoperable app that serves as the gateway to multiple networks that operate EV charging stations from various manufacturers. The CarCharging app provides drivers with the ability to locate public Blink, GE, SemaCharge, and ChargePoint EV charging stations, and initiate and pay for EV charging sessions at GE WattStations and SemaCharge stations, that are owned and operated by CarCharging, directly from their iPhone. The app is now available for is currently available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and is available for download from the App Store.

CarCharging also recently announced its participation in Nissan's "No Charge to Charge" promotion, which provides two years of no-fee charging with the purchase of a new Nissan LEAF with the new EZ-Charge card, an all-access card that provides drivers with the ability to initiate charging sessions on CarCharging's Blink Network as well as other major charging networks. CarCharging is also collaborating with GE's Industrial Solutions business to establish interoperability between CarCharging's Blink Network and GE's WattStation EV chargers. GE will soon allow CarCharging's Blink Network to serve as an alternative payment method for drivers and owners of GE WattStations.

To learn more about CarCharging and the Blink Network, please visit www.CarCharging.com and www.BlinkNetwork.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      Dave R
      • 7 Months Ago
      For occasional public charging, I have no issues paying $0.25-0.50 / kWh if it means it will let me drive the EV instead of the gas guzzler. It costs money to install and maintain those charging stations - money that is typically ignored when people only compare the retail cost of electricity to the cost of public charging.
      Anderlan
      • 7 Months Ago
      A sign of good things to come. But we won't see an SC-compatible non-Tesla vehicle any time soon. Elon put in the stipulation that any SC-compatible vehicle has to take the full power. That means anything less than 60kwh need not apply. I LIKE THAT. That's throwing down the battery-size gauntlet.
      electric-car-insider
      • 7 Months Ago
      Andrew Byrne, if there was a way I could give you two thumbs up I would. Naturenut has a good point, a Tesla cable on a CHAdeMO QC saves the Tesla owner the expense of buying the $1,300 CHAdeMO adapter, and there are times you want fast in-town fast charging (when traveling, Superchargers are positioned to facilitate between-city travel). But CarChargingGroup has a very full plate simply bringing their L2 network up to a competitive level with... Everyone else. They should be working hard to put some ClipperCreek or Aerovironment quality inside those clunky Blink boxes, rather than overreaching by two trying to create a product that Tesla owners will spurn. The Blink chargers are famous for not working reliably, and being 25% slower than the competition. The CHAdeMO chargers are the least reliable of all. Not a likely suitor for a Tesla driver.
        samcrut
        • 7 Months Ago
        @electric-car-insider
        I don't think this has anything to do with getting Teslas to charge at Blink stations. It's about getting all of the EV cars to switch to Tesla connectors. No more CHAdeMO. No more J1772. That's the play. Get Nissan, Mitsubishi, and the rest to switch over for next year's model and the world will be a better place with better standardization. Hopefully they can easily replace the plate in my Leaf to ditch the CHAdeMO and put in the T.
      Grendal
      • 7 Months Ago
      Unnecessary. However it's good to see cooperation rather than animosity.
        Johnny04
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        I think this is just the beginning. If they can get that to work, they would try to increase the power. They may never get to the supercharging level but half or a quarter would be great.
        Weapon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        I think Blink realizes that once the Gen 3 car comes out, most EVs on the road will be a Tesla for a few years till the other guys catch up. And when the other guys do catch up they will most likely want to use Tesla superchargers. So they want to be compatible with the new coming era and make it more convenient. Though I wish they would implement NFC and not have people use those silly cards.
          Rotation
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Weapon
          What do you mean "implement NFC"? All these silly cards are NFC.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 7 Months Ago
      Yet Tesla's superior chargers are free. Free to a group of people who could afford to pay the most. There is no reason to buy a EV if I have to pay a high price for it to begin with, then pay the same for the fuel as gasoline. May as well get out the Corvette. The higher the price for fuel for a EV the less reason their is for making the switch. Walgreens can suck eggs, IMO they are not helping proliferate EV's but instead hindering the process.
      Nick Kordich
      • 7 Months Ago
      Sebastian, it's not clear from the article or the press release, but Blink has said they'll be integrating Tesla charging technology for both AC and DC charging, so it's not merely a Tesla connector on a level 2 charger. I've sent them a follow-up email to the one that confirmed that, asking for more information about charging rates, cost, etc. I'll post an update if I hear anything back this week. It's not "free, forever, on sunlight" but a retrofit of all 119 Blink QC stations to support Tesla and CCS quick charging stations would add flexibility. For example, you might drive down to a city using a Supercharger, stay with a friend in the city whose parking situation doesn't include charging for a few days while using the car in the city, and then when it's time to head home, use the Blink QC station to make sure you've got enough energy to reach the Supercharger outside of the city. If they support the SAE 90kW capacity, that could perform as well as the original Superchargers.
        Jon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Nick Kordich
        This scenario makes a lot of sense. I hope you are right about them adding DC capability for 90 kW at the least.
          Nick Kordich
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jon
          I received a follow-up email in response to my questions about the cost and output levels, but it only said that the specifics would be released at a future date.
      Rotation
      • 7 Months Ago
      I think it'd be fine if Blink wants to try to service Tesla owners with their DC fast chargers. They had better change their pricing model though, $5 flat fee won't cut it when you can charge for 2.5 hours and dump in 85kWh. I'd love to see Blink add SAE CCS and even Tesla ports to their chargers. I'd like to see all chargers support as many cars as possible, at least within reason of what makes sense.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Tesla Chademo adapter is just about ready, I can't imagine the ChargeCar did not know this. However if it isn't free I will look for the super charger. 5 dollars for 60 miles is to much for the Leaf. 10 dollars would be good for the Tesla. Or free, I would charge if it was free. Perhaps they should charge .49 cents per kwh like Walgreens, some think that is a good idea however I boycott those charge stations.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 7 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Rotation, Say I put 80 kwh into a Tesla. 80x.49=39.20 dollars. I say that this is to close to the price of gas and you must wait for the privilege of paying for it. I say that it acts to prohibit the expansion of EV's versus make them more appealing. I say I boycott these .49 cents per kwh stations. Boycott means I ban myself from using them in other words I don't except them as a place to charge. Incidentally Wallgreens has a sign up that you can only charge for a hour or maybe it was a half hour.
          Rotation
          • 7 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          $5 for 60 (really 65) miles is peanuts when you need the range. $0.49/kWh would be $9.80 for a charge on a LEAF. Why do you say that's okay when you said $5 was too much? I'm sure anyone would use a Supercharger for free if they could. But there are only 100 Superchargers in the US. If a Blink DCFC is closer, you'll use that if you need to.
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        No reason to go to a "pay per use" scheme at all. Fast Chargers can easily use a one-time charge for access. $2000 per EV enabled and free electricity for the life of the car... is still enough to pay for the installation of the charger, and all its electricity for years.
          Jon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Problem is that it might not be a good deal for the consumer if they rarely need access to public charging. Say someone decides not to purchase the $2000 charging option then one day they find themselves in need of a charge in public. Without pay-per-use access their only option is to pony up $2000?
      Anderlan
      • 7 Months Ago
      OK. http://www.hybridcars.com/files/IMG_2249.jpg
        Actionable Mango
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Anderlan
        THAT COSTS $1200???
          Jon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          And also comes free with every Model S. This costs $1200 (or $1000 pre-order): http://shop.teslamotors.com/products/chademo-adapter
          Actionable Mango
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          Ah, okay.
          Dave R
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          No, the J1772 adapter costs $95. http://shop.teslamotors.com/collections/model-s/products/sae-j1772
      Rotation
      • 7 Months Ago
      It's probably not worth the trouble. Every Tesla owner already has an adapter. And most Blink stations are only 3.3kW charging. No Tesla owner is going to seek them out. Any EV owner knows, it's rare that you want to pay to charge on the road. And when you can't get home, you will want DC fast charging because it's what'll get you that range ASAP. Tesla owners are probably those least likely to run out of range during a normal day and need some slow AC charging. I just don't see the point.
        samcrut
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        If they'd put a couple of level 3 chargers along I-35 between Dallas and Austin, I'd gladly pay $10-15/session for the ability to roadtrip. I don't mind paying if the destination is worth it, but around Dallas I just charge at home. Level 2 chargers are frequently at work or malls or restaurants. Charging isn't always about plugging in and waiting for a top off. It's also about plugging in and picking up a few extra miles while grabbing groceries or taking in a movie. I seldom **fill up** at public stations, but I plug in every chance I get.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 7 Months Ago
          @samcrut
          10-15 dollars per session is good in a Tesla not so good in a Leaf.
        samcrut
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        The significance of this deal is not for current cars. It's for future cars. Hopefully, all plugs will now be Tesla connectors across the board. When you look at it that way, it's totally worth the trouble.
      David Murray
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm not sure what difference it will make which connector Blink uses. Since their stations are almost always broken, nobody can use them anyway.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Blink can't even get their existing stations working properly and now they're going to spend money trying to get Teslas charging there at 16A?! The only way this will get them any business is if the stations with Tesla connectors are pumping out 80A (20kW) of power, the maximum that a twin charger-equipped Model S can take. Even then the J1772 spec can handle 80A as it is and the Model S has an adapter with it. Blindingly stupid waste of resources for a company teetering on the brink. Err...blink.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Excellent point ! Agree it sounds like Blink has their priorities backwards. From personal experience, Blink is the most unreliable network. About 1 out of 2 times I tried using Blink chargers they don't work. Apparently Blink takes them down for maintenance, which can be days or weeks, without making any announcements. So you plan your trip and try using their chargers, only to find out they don't work. Nothing like having your travel plans ruined by Blink. Never had that issue with ChargePoint or public/free chargers.
          samcrut
          • 7 Months Ago
          When you see a down charger, call it in. When I was in Seattle, the level 3 chargers were frequently on the blink so to speak, so I'd call it in and many times they could reset it and get it back up and running immediately. Other times they would dispatch a repair tech or tell me it was already scheduled for repair. I had them on speed dial in my car.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 7 Months Ago
        Most Blink/CarCharging chargers have been turned down to 50% power at the J1772 level and they still want 1 dollar per hour, 2 dollars per hour if not a member. 5 dollars for 60 miles FC for a Leaf is a rip off. It's like paying 2.50 per gallon of gas and you must wait 30 mins for the privileged. Some of these companies will not be happy until we are paying the same price as gas.
      Spec
      • 7 Months Ago
      I don't get it. Doesn't every Tesla come with a J1772 adapter?
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