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Chargepoint Chargers versus Blink

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by davidbw, May 16, 2012.

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  1. davidbw

    davidbw Member

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    Here are a few obscure things that I learned using both Chargepoint and Blink Chargers:

    Chargepoint chargers have longer cables, about 4 feet longer...I have yet to back into a parking space for a Chargepoint Charger, except one time when the adjacent parking spaces had other ICE cars, but I was able to back into a space that was close enough for the cable to reach my car. Blink chargers have a cord that barely reaches the charge port. If the parking stop prevents the front of the car from being less than 2 feet from the charger, you have to back into the parking space for the cable to reach the Prius charge port.

    All Blink chargers are currently free in California. Blink intends to charge for charging at a future date, but for now we are lucky.

    To use a Blink charger, you must sign up for a Blink Card, either by phone or on the Internet -- they are currently free. You can't use the Blink charger until you have the Blink Card. Another credit card won't work. Calling the 800 number won't work.

    The website says that a Chargepoint charger card is currently $5; however, according to other posts on here you may still be able to get a free card by calling on the phone.

    You don't need a Chargepoint Card to use a Chargepoint charger, you can call the phone number on the charger, and they will unlock the charge for you. If you have a credit card with a wireless symbol, you can tap the card to unlock the charger.

    Many Chargepoint chargers have both a level one and level two chargers -- When you unlock the charger, you can either pull the level two charger out of the socket, and plug it into your car, or you can open a door to expose a level one power outlet (a standard 120 V outlet) for you to plug your charger into.

    You can use both Level One and Level Two charging ports at the same time, if you have two different cards. So you can use the level two charger to charge your Prius, and then unlock the level one outlet, and plug something else in (like a laptop). Chargepoint technical support says you can't do this, but I have done it.

    Also if some one is using the Level two charger, and you can park in an adjacent space, you can use Level one charger for your car.
    3 people like this.
  2. Sandiegomom

    Sandiegomom New Member

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    I used a Blink charger from the space next to the space where it was installed, and did not need to back in. I wonder if there are different lengths available (maybe for "shared space" installations?)
  3. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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  4. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I have a Blink card, but haven't used it. But ChargePoint chargers will send you an email or SMS if someone unplugs you, which is nice. They also display charging status, so if a car using the charger is full, you can know its ok to disconnect the cable from their car and use it on yours.
  5. timdsd

    timdsd Junior Member

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    I've used both Blink and ChargePoint free chargers. Both will send you an SMS and/or email regarding your charging status or if someone unplugs you. Both have smartphone apps. I think the ChargePoint website gives you more details about your charging history. I've run into Blink chargers that were offline (no updates sent to my phone), and I ran into a faulty ChargePoint charger (the charger wouldn't unlock the connector/cord so I couldn't remove it from the charger and attach it to my car), so I think both brands seem to have about the same reliability. In San Diego, Blink charging spots are often occupied by idle Car2Go cars, so it's not always easy to find an open spot. The ChargePoint charger I used was in the South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa. That location next to valet parking discourages people from abusing the charging spots, and the valet parking attendant helped me use the charger, which was the first time I used one of the ChargePoints. I've gotten into the habit of always backing into charging spots, so I can't comment on the cord length. Overall, I don't see much of a difference between the two brands, at least for now, while they both offer free charging.
  6. davidbw

    davidbw Member

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    I discovered another nice thing about the Chargepoint Chargers. Last night I went to one of the Burbank Chargepoint locations, which are currently free until 07/01/2012. There were two Leaf's (Leaves ?) parked using both chargers; however, as I stated before, each charger has two ports, a level 2 and a level 1. I had no problems with charging using a level one port, and I parked into an adjacent space. What I did not realize before is that when using your Chargepoint card a door unlocks that exposes the 120 V outlet for you to plug in the EVSE that comes with your car. Behind the door is enough space for you to plug in your EVSE, and to put the brick in. The door then comes down and locks the brick inside the charger, but there is a small opening for the cable. You now don't have to worry about someone stealing your EVSE cable setup. Yes someone can unplug you, and then have your car towed, but at least you can come back and recover your EVSE charger cable:) When you are ready to leave you swipe your card again, and the door unlocks, and you can unplug your charger cord.
    JMD, genetiix, iRun26.2 and 3 others like this.
  7. iRun26.2

    iRun26.2 New Member

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    What is the name of the Blink iPhone app? (I couldn't find it)
  8. iRun26.2

    iRun26.2 New Member

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    I have never been to a charging station where anybody else is charging. Everytime I stop to charge, people come and talk to me, saying they've never seen an electric car.

    (although I guess it isn't completely true to say my Prius PHV is an 'electric car')
  9. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    Same here. Once, a couple of weeks ago, a volt showed up. He didn't have a Chargepoint card and I didn't know at the time that he could call Chargepoint to use the remaining port.:eek:
  10. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    rsz_s1130003.jpg Here's a suggestion: take your smartphone and watch HBO GO on it. Just use the extra velcro you got from your ScanguageII blendmount kit.
  11. Three60guy

    Three60guy -->All around guy<-- (360 = round) get it?

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    It took me awhile to find it in the iPhone App Store. It's name is:

    Blink Mobile

    By ECOtality

    It's free too.
  12. bfd

    bfd Plug-In Perpetuator

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    Far more Blink chargers in the far southwest corner than there are Chargepoints. I've Blink charged while shopping at IKEA, down by the Convention Center when I was there for a meeting, and a few times at the CCSE office on the way back from Fry's.

    The one time I was in the vicinity of a Chargepoint charger was in Pacific Beach; it turned out to be a 110v outlet at a McDonalds.
  13. DadofHedgehog

    DadofHedgehog Active Member

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    Here in the Washington DC area it's the reverse: Chargepoint chargers dominate. I saw via the Internet there's a Blink site somewhere in north DC but not close to downtown.
  14. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    around here i think Blink outnumbers both Chargepoint and SemaConnect but their reliability record sucks. have seen dozens of Blinks "on the Blink" (fave saying at most EV sites) but rarely see a Chargepoint or a SemaConnect not working
  15. fjpod

    fjpod Member

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    I've never seen a public charger.
  16. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Obviously you haven't needed a charge at the business complex near John Wayne airport . . .
    Similarly - you'll find some that charge to use the parking lot- so 1 way or the other- they get their dough.
    :)


    Sent from my SGH-I717R using Tapatalk 2
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