The hike is somewhat hidden in the change to how Blink charges users for battery juice in some locations. The company used to charge people by the time they spent connected to the EVSE or, in the case of DC Fast Chargers, a flat rate. Starting earlier this month, though, some Blink chargers went to a price-per-kWh rate (state laws don't permit this type of charge in all areas), and the new method, Dugandzic says, can amount to "a price increase of more than 200 percent for users of Blink Level 2 commercial charging stations."
The change represents "a price increase of more than 200 percent."
Dugandzic's petition says that, "the hidden price increase included in the new pricing model is a bad decision for the battery-electric vehicle industry" because potential EV drivers will shy away from the new technology. Also, he feels like CarCharging Group is taking "advantage of current and new EV drivers who do not have the ability to charge their vehicles at home using their own power, such as myself." Dugandzic believes that, "it is up to companies such as CarCharging, to do everything possible to help hasten the transition to electric vehicles, instead of seeking profits during these early years." The killer point? "For many drivers, it is now more expensive for them to charge their highly-efficient electric vehicles than to fuel a 40+ mpg gasoline vehicle," Dugandzic says.
In response, CarCharging's vice president of marketing and public relations, Suzanne Tamargo, sent AutoblogGreen a statement that basically says that different EVs charge at different rates and the new rates are more fair. They're also what's required to stay in business. You can read the full thing below, but the key line is this: "We simply cannot afford to make the mistakes made by other companies, including ECOtality, the former owner of the Blink stations, and continue to charge fees that are well below our costs." If you'd like to sign the petition, you can do so here.
Kilowatt-hour (kWh) pricing: While we are excited to finally offer kWh pricing, we do understand that drivers may be surprised by the rates. However, in order to provide the infrastructure required to support EV charging, there are various costs involved. We reviewed and analyzed the expenses involved in owning and operating the stations in each state, including electricity fees and reimbursement, transaction fees, host payments, service, and maintenance, and set pricing as necessary to cover these costs as well as a profit to support the company.
Time-based pricing: While we prefer to offer kWh pricing on all of our stations, this pricing model is not permitted in all states and time-based pricing creates a challenge. Given that different EV models pull electricity at different speeds, this creates a wide range of potential charging times. For example, while a Tesla can accept a charge up to 7.2 kW, a Chevy Volt can charge at a maximum rate of 3.3 kW and will take longer to charge. Therefore, taking into consideration the costs involved in owning and operating the stations, including electricity fees and reimbursement, transaction fees, host payments, service, and maintenance, pricing must be based to accommodate the range of EV models.
It is not our intent to exploit EV drivers. We simply cannot afford to make the mistakes made by other companies, including ECOtality, the former owner of the Blink stations, and continue to charge fees that are well below our costs.
We understand that public charging may be the only option for some EV drivers and to provide an alternate, more cost-effective option to our pay-as-you-charge rates, we are diligently working on introducing subscription plan(s) very soon.
We appreciate your business and we will continue to support the adoption of kWh pricing in all states, as well as evaluate and adjust our pricing policies as necessary to support your EV charging needs.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.