As of September 1st 2012, Blink Networks started to charge Blink Charging Station users a fee. This ranges from $1/hr to $2/hr depending on your ‘membership level’. Some site owners have elected to keep their charging stations free rather than levy such a fee. This post highlights some of the Blink site owners who are EV friendly by keeping fees free.
- Kohl’s (All Tennessee locations with charging capability).
- Nissan Visitor Center (Smyrna TN)
- Embassy Suites (Franklin TN)
- Sheraton Downtown Nashville
- State Lot (Nashville TN)
- LP Field (Nashville TN)
- Murfreesboro Electric
- Northcrest Medical Center (Springfield TN)
- Bennett’s Bar-B-Q (Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge)
- Alamo Steakhouse, (Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge)
- Mama’s Farmhouse, (Pigeon Forge)
- Big Daddy’s Pizza, (Pigeon Forge and Sevierville)
- UT Knoxville Music and Agriculture Campuses
- Ijams Nature Center (Knoxville TN)
- Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (Knoxville TN)
- Sustainable Future (Knoxville TN)
- Victor Ashe Park (Knoxville TN)
- West Hills Park (Knoxville TN)
- Sequoyah Park (Knoxville TN)
- Caswell Park (Knoxville TN)
- State Street Garage (Knoxville TN)
- Jackson Ave Lot (Knoxville TN)
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge TN)
- Haw Ridge Park (Oak Ridge TN)
- Civic Center (Oak Ridge TN)
- Children’s Museum (Oak Ridge TN)
- Fire Station #1 (Oak Ridge TN)
- Maryville College
- Lake Tellico Lodge (Greenback TN)
- Crown Plaza (Knoxville, TN)
- Family Taekwondo (Collierville TN)
- Essential Services (Bristol TN)
- Morristown Utility Systems
Hat’s off to Kohl’s, City of Knoxville and a number of businesses in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area.
It’s worth noting that quick charge stations at Cracker Barrel restaurants are still free until later this year, though the Level 2 units do now levy a fee.
ChargePoint Units are still free in Tennessee as are independently owned units at places such as Whole Foods and Publix who own their equipment and are not part of a charging ‘network’.
All Nissan and Mitsubishi dealerships are free to use (if you can get parked close to the units).
The only way I have of identifying free units at this time is by hovering over charging stations on the Blink Map at their main website. So please let me know if I have missed any and I will add them to the list above. Let’s help promote the site owners who choose to keep EV charging free for their customers and employees/visitors.
Plugshare plan to offer a filter to find free stations, but it is not operational just yet.
I am disappointed that City Halls in TN charge a fee, our taxes pay for their facilities and wages. (Worthy of mention is the City of Knoxville for making a handful of city parks free for EV users). I also question hotels charging a fee, because the fees are for connect time, NOT charging time. One could be charged a big fee while your car is attached but not charging overnight at a hotel. Getting up at 1am to disconnect it when charging is complete isn’t reasonable.
One unexpected benefit from being charged a fee is that I no longer feel guilty parking and using a Blink unit if I do not enter the owners business or buy their products/services. So far this month I have paid $6 in fees and consider this a way of supporting the EV charging network in TN.
I don’t advocate a boycott of places that charge a fee, that’s their choice; but let’s make a noise when we see owners keep them free and give them extra business!!
An unintended consequence of charging fees is that ‘opportunity’ charging will all but die out. One used to opportunity charge whenever possible even if travel plans didn’t warrant the charge. One never knew when you might decide to change your plans, having the extra charge was a good way to ensure the car got you where you needed to go without concerns.
Random Fact: Facebook in California keep their Blink locations free.