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Blink, CarCharging Group catching flack for EV charging price hike

Joe Dugandzic of Phoenix, AZ doesn’t like to see the cost for driving his EV increase. So much so that he started a petition against a recent price hike by CarCharging Group, Inc. (which owns Blink) asking the company to reverse the increase.

The change represents “a price increase of more than 200 percent.”

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), which Dugandzic says amount to “a price increase of more than 200 percent for users of Blink Level 2 commercial charging stations.”

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.
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