ElectroClassic EV
Classic Cars Reborn into the Electric Future

Charge Cards

As a followup to my previous post about EV charging stations, I’ll share here that I received both of my charging network membership cards in today’s mail.

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The Blink Network InCard came in a nice, plain, green-looking, 100% post-consumer, soy ink-printed, foldout envelope, with the plastic card nestled inside. The printed instructions were so simple and minimal, I felt like I was deboxing an Apple iPad. The InCard is thin like a credit card, and has my bar coded member serial and Blink customer service number printed on the back, but is minus the magnetic stripe. I immediately logged into my blinknetwork.com account and activated my card, and then called the customer service number to ask a couple questions. The Blink agent confirmed the InCard contains an imbedded RFID device, and stated that all Blink chargers are presently free, but will begin debiting member accounts for electrons sometime during the Spring of 2012.

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The ChargePass card from the ChargePoint Network (Coulomb Technologies) arrived gorilla-snotted to a glossy pamphlet that was more Redmond than Cupertino, although helpfully informative. The ChargePass card also has a bar coded membership serial and customer service number printed on the back, but is slightly thicker than a credit card, and obviously has an RFID device hiding inside. After activating my ChargePass online, I called the number on the back of the card. The friendly customer service agent from Mumbai explained that the card would cause the charging plug to release from the holster, and would direct the charging station to debit my account about one dollar per hour of charge. Now that I am a card-carrying citizen of the electrosphere, the world is my oyster, but like any meal, it seems it will be cheaper to eat at home.

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4 Responses to “Charge Cards”

  1. The Chargepoint system I learned the hard way. There are several free ones around town if you can find them. When I found the first one in Burbank (after driving in circles for an hour looking for it), there were no instructions posted. Luckily, Paul Scott from Plug-In America answered my desperate call for help, and told me to call the toll-free number printed on the appliance in tiny 8pt type. Our man in Mumbai unlocked the dock, averting another opportunity to call Nissan for help. Chargepoint has since sent me the card to activate their docks.

    I enjoy driving around town looking for the free juice, although my passengers find the experience a little disquieting. “Recargo” is a great app for finding charge docks, showing photos and testimonials for nearly every brand of EVSE.

    The Blink system works well. Your Blink card must lay flat against the face of the dock to be read, I have found. Swiping or waving it does not work. This info is probably in a user’s guide somewhere, but I get a bigger kick hacking my way through EV land. The biggest challenge for me is locating the charging docks–standardized signage is seriously lacking.

    • Thanks Joe – Lots of good information here. Hopefully, we’ll see more charging stations pop up as electric vehicle sales increase. I wonder whether we will also need to feed the parking meter as well.

  2. I dig your commentary from the frontier. Looking forward to riding in your chariot some day. Say hello to Mrs. B and let her know that I’ll be LOOKING for, but not LISTENING for, you two to come around the corner on some drive west on Sunset to the sea.


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