With electric vehicles on the rise and expected to become mainstream over the next decade, the market for electric vehicle equipment is steadily growing year over year. Electric cars need to be charged, so a large part of the market is the chargers that keep our vehicles going.
Here’s a review of Blink’s Home Level 2 electric vehicle charger, just one of the options available to electric car owners today. Is it worth your time and money? That’s what you’re going to find out on this page. We’ve covered these chargers’ pros and cons, compatibility, pricing, charge speed, and other construction features.
Let’s start with the pros and cons, so you can see what the Blink electric vehicle chargers offer at a glance.
The Pros & Cons Of Blink EV Chargers
Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of the Blink Home Level 2 EV charger. Take a look at them to see if the features appeal to you. If you want more details on how its features work, you can find our full review below!
Blink As A Business
For those who don’t know who Blink Charging is, they were founded in 1998 in Miami Beach, Florida. They have grown along with the rise of electric cars to now, where they are one of the predominant brands in the EV industry.
Part of its mission statement is spreading EVs globally by putting the necessary charging infrastructure in place, both at home and in public.
As a result, their more recent offerings are geared towards home use, which is where the Home Level 2 charger comes in, also known as the HQ 100.
The Design & Charger Mounting
The charger has a glossy design, the minimalist style that’s so common with electric vehicle equipment. It’s sleek, small, unobtrusive, and colored so that it blends seamlessly into any home’s exterior. It does that by coming in the color that goes with everything – black.
Being a sleek charger, this new generation of Blink models can be mounted onto poles designed by Blink. The poles are used to house three IQ 200 cables. You can also have the charger system mounted on your wall during installation.
Nobody wants to buy an EV charger only to find out that the plug is the wrong shape. The compatibility issue is lessening over time as things become more standardized, but there are still concerns that every EV owner should check out. Fortunately, we’ve detailed just how compatible the Blink Home Level 2 EV charger is right here.
As we said in our list of pros, this charger is one of the more compatible models you can find. If you have a plug-in EV, you should be able to make use of it. It’s compatible with EVs from Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford, and Chevrolet, and if you get a J1772 adapter, then you can also use it with Tesla S, X, and 3 models. The additional purchase may be a pain for some, but you can probably afford it if you’re charging a Tesla.
What’s striking about its compatibility is how up-to-date it is, catering to new EV models hitting the market.
Blink offers their HQ 100 Level 2 home charging system for around $399 if buying directly from them. With that purchase comes $300 in credit that you can use to charge your car on the Blink Network. So you can think of the charger costing $99 while the extra $300 is for the next few charges you’ll do with your EV.
As for how much you can expect to pay for charging when that credit runs out, Blink members pay $0.4 per minute while guests pay slightly more at $0.6 a minute. A small change, sure, but you should become a member of Blink to reap the benefits! It costs nothing to become a Blink member and only puts you at an advantage, so you should consider it if you’re getting this charger.
You don’t need to be a Blink member to take advantage of their pricing. You can use mobile devices, your computer, the Blink Mobile app, or Blink Customer Support to get a Blink guest code and pay for the power you take.
Some states offer kWh-based pricing, which overrides the typical Blink pricing. For example, you can pay as much as $0.80 in those states when charging at a Level 2 charging point. Which states use kWh pricing? Here’s a list:
- New York
As for how the charger is built, the connector is made from rubberized material, so you don’t need to worry about grip or comfort. It grips surfaces well and feels nice in your hand, unlike hard plastic charger connectors you can find out there. While being rubberized, it still feels solid and durable, so you don’t need to worry about it being flimsy or looking cheap.
You control the charger through a 7″ color touchscreen display. While a charger can work well, a poor display can harm your experience of the overall product. Fortunately, the display of this Blink charger is brighter than previous Blink chargers and so clearly visible under all light environments.
It’s very responsive and readable in both artificial light and sunlight. Unfortunately, readability is a problem with many public charging stations, so it’s refreshing to have a charger that remedies that issue.
While the connector is perfectly balanced, the cable is a bit on the heavier side. It’s thick and can be heavy to move around sometimes.
There’s an easy explanation for this. It uses the same cables as their IQ 200 option that can deliver up to 80 amps! So it’s a powerful cable that needs to be heftier than your standard EVSE cable.
You get 65 miles worth of distance in an hour of charge, though that figure can be slightly smaller or bigger depending on what EV you’re sporting. It’s also compatible with hybrid vehicles, too.
Load Sharing Capabilities
A feature of this charger is that it can share its power. So if cars are plugged in, but there isn’t enough power to go around, they’re added to a cue and will charge when one of the other cars finishes.
That’s great for public applications of this charger. Its load-sharing spans 2 to 20 units, all from one 100-amp source. As we said in our pros, it’s excellent for workplaces, multi-unit buildings, and apartment complexes.
Charge Delay Function
Like any useful charger, this one comes with its own charge delay function. This means you can plug your electric vehicle into its charging port and then set charging times a few hours in advance.
You have options between a 2, 4, 6, or 8-hour delay. You can monitor the charging process through your EV’s proprietary app if it has one, but downloading apps isn’t necessary to get this charger working.
Charging is as simple as plugging in the vehicle and pressing a button, where you’re prompted to choose the best start delay for the moment. Charging delay is a great cost-effective feature that allows you to avoid peak utility hours, meaning you pay less for your power.
We’ve advised that you get some help in installing this charger because it may be above the skill set of the average EV owner, and it’s a powerful system. However, you should be able to find qualified electricians in your area who are ready, willing, and able to install an EV charge point like this.
You probably should if you’re on the fence about getting installation help. If you mess up the installation, you’ll damage the charger in a costly mistake, or you could hurt yourself in an even more expensive error.
Many of its features are geared towards a simplistic installation process, most notably that 18-foot cord and the simple wiring that has been used. That long cord also comes with a cord tender to tame it. Installation can take an hour, give or take a few minutes in either direction.
Those who wish to install the charger themselves should know that it is a direct wire unit. This means it is connected by attaching one supply line to the L1 terminal in your breaker and then securing the other line to the L2 terminal. From there, a ground wire should be attached to the terminal, demarcated by the grounding symbol. Then you should be set.
The Blink Level 2 Home Charger is a viable mid-range option. However, it’s not one of the leading EV home chargers on the market. If you are researching the market, check out their competitors’ in-depth reviews below.