New app crowd-sources EV charging
Tuesday 08 March 2011
With the world's first electric vehicles now on the road, it seems that before long everyone's going to be looking for the nearest outlet - and one Silicon Valley startup thinks it can help.
Plugshare is a new network for EV enthusiasts which keeps track of fellow EV owners and allows them to share their electricity outlets with others.
The app, which was released March 7 in the Apple App Store and is coming soon to Android, provides users with a map that shows PlugShare users who have volunteered to share their outlet with other early adopters.
It also shows which outlets are standard plugs and which are specific EV chargers for vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, as well as holding a database of public charging stations.
Users sign up to the network to specify information about their power outlet and how others should use it, including contact details, which can then be used by other members to arrange a charging time if necessary.
PlugShare's founders say that by crowd-sourcing EV charging, their system could help to reduce the range anxiety of EV buyers, so they're paying special attention to people who don't have an EV - yet.
The website urges non-EV owners to join the community, adding that "sooner or later an EV owner may ask to charge at your outlet, and you'll be able to talk to a real person (not a dealer or a salesman) to find out if an EV is right for you."
While PlugShare is only available in the US App Store currently, a spokesperson told Relaxnews that the company hopes to bring the service to other regions soon, although there are localized features to be taken into account such as EV charger type.
Download the app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plugshare/id421788217?mt=8&ls=1#
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