You all probably already know this, but to understand why essentially any EV other than a Tesla will never work for most people, just read the post below...
I charge my Soul EV at my condo. We have 120v charging at work, and I sometimes plug in all day there, pick up 32 miles or so. Nice perk. The public parking lot down the street has 2 Level 2 chargers, right next to our favorite coffee shop, so I have charged there a few times, picking up 12 miles or so during coffee. When I purchased the car, I resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be an "LA County" car. It will get me anywhere that I want to go, then back home, all on the 90+ miles I get on a full charge.
I have never used the Chademo charge port in the 3 months I have owned the car. While down in Hermosa Beach the other day, I had about 15 minutes to kill before a dentists appointment. I knew there was a Chademo station at the top of the parking garage, so I thought I would go and check it out. Wasn't driving the EV at the time, so no charging possible in any case. They had 2 Chademo and 1 Level 2 charger up there. Run by NRG eVgo. When I got home I looked at their website to see if I wanted to sign up, basically just for the novelty of seeing how fast the charger would work with the Soul EV. Forget the $14.95 per month membership, I would probably use the Chademo charger twice per year. The "guest" rate I believe was $12 per hour, plus a $4.95 single use fee. Yikes. Seemed kind of steep, but I understand money needs to be made, so whatever.
So KIA sends me a "ChargeUp" card in the mail. I open it up, and there is a credit card like card with a unique number in the upper left on the back. The attached letter states that the card will allow access to the following networks, using that single card: AeroVironment, Blink, CarCharging, Greenlots, NRGeVgo). Followed by a website where you need to go to register the card for use. I'm thinking, great, maybe I go register this card, have access to all these chargers, then I go use the NRG eVgo charger in Hermosa Beach sometime, even if I do have to pay the outrageous fee that one time. Then I go to the kiachargeup.greenlots.com website.
Very slick, and well done. So far so good. It turns out that my KIA "ChargeUp" card, is really an "EZ Charge" card, and on the back there is the EZ Charge logo in the lower left. The website requires you to register your card, all your personal information, and then brings you to the following page:
The first thing I notice is that, after entering my location, my choice of providers has been reduced from 5 down to 3. No problem, then I check out the next steps. You have to join each network, and register your EZ Charge card upon signing up with that network. But presumably some of my data has been "pre-populated" when I go there, to make this easier. This has to be done for each network, and note that each network requires you to provide your credit card number for charging fees. For step #4, I'm not sure what the "Kia's No Charge to Charge" program is, have never heard of it until this moment, but from the comment it looks like it is a subset of all available stations. Ok, no problem, lets head off to Blink to get the first one out of the way...
Get to the Blink website after following the link, first question is whether I want to register as a member, or just sign up for a single use of a charger. I figure I must sign up as a member. So I go sign up, completing all the required information (none of which was pre-populated BTW), and the last questions is if I need a Blink "InCharge" card, or whether I already have one. There are no other choices. This leaves me wondering where it is that I'm supposed to check the box that says that I want to register my "EZ Charge" card from KIA? So I start looking through the Blink website looking for anything EZ Charge related. After 20 minutes of searching, I find my answer buried at the end of the FAQ:
When I follow the link to go back to the "EZ-Charge Website", yes, you guessed it, I'm right back to the main starting page that I began at. Recursion 101, Yay!
The next step apparently will be to try and figure out exactly why when I registered at Blink, they didn't ever ask me about my EZ Charge card. Or I call the people at EZ Charge and see if they might have an idea what is going on. The whole thing smacked of something that was put together very quickly, and while the initial EZ Charge website seemed very straight forward, after that the process completely broke down. And note that this was only the first of 3 sites that I needed to get through to "simplify" my charging experience. Knowing that any call to a call center would require a 30 minute wait, and the end result undoubtedly being the person having no idea what I was even talking about, I decided that my journey down the path of "simplified charging" had come to an abrupt end. Only think remaining is to cancel my Blink account, and then cancel my EZ Charge registration. Having said that, I will no doubt be receiving promotional e-mail's with numerous "special offers" and other inanities from them and their various "partners" for the foreseeable future.
Lesson Learned: There is no "simplified" charge card that replaces all the individual networks charge cards. And public charging, especially DC fast charging, is pretty expensive.
The people who "thought through" the Tesla Supercharger network and are deploying it are the only ones who know what they are doing. I'll bet you they all go out after work on Fridays, sit around a computer display drinking heavily, checking out these competitors goofy websites and schemes, and all end up laughing so hard that the inguinal herina surgeons in the Bay Area must be pulling 3 shifts 7 days a week.
Things like this just reinforce my certain knowledge that Tesla will be the last car maker standing. Nobody else knows what they are doing. Nobody thinks it through. Nobody is selling a 200 mile range car 3 years after Tesla developed the Model S. All I can think about anymore is looking forward to the day that Tesla finally starts taking reservations for the Model 3. I will stay up very late, drink the best bottle of wine that I have available (possibly 2), and be the first person to register for a Signature Tesla Model 3. It will be the greatest day of my entire life. I am assuming of course that Tesla will not require me to register for the EZ Charge network...