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Cars electric vehical charging app logo

Published on June 2nd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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iPhone & iPod Touch App Crowdsources Locations of EV Charging Stations

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June 2nd, 2011 by Zachary Shahan 

electric vehical charging app logo

Tina wrote about a Google and Department of Energy initiative to create a comprehensive map of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for the United States in April. Of course, that is awesome and I have no doubt they will create an awesome and useful map. But now, I’ve just read about what may be an even cooler EV charging station map that’s in the works.

Xatori Inc., a software innovation company, has created an iPhone app that provides instant access to EV charging stations and other EV owners. The information is largely crowdsourced. Again, this is a nationwide project.

Here’s more from our sister site, Insteading:

PlugShare is a community-driven electric vehicle charging network that allows iPhone and iPod touch owners in the United States to share their outlets with one another.

The app gives electric vehicle drivers an instant map of an area’s available, paid charging stations and homes or lots that will allow them to plug in and recharge for free, making it similar to AirBnB or CouchSurfing, but with cars instead of beds.

Beautiful. Love it.

In addition to just helping people find and access EV infrastructure, the app is focused around supporting and growing an EV culture as well.

“We want to build and support a community that’s creating a paradigm shift to a massively cleaner type of transportation,” Xatori co-founder and chief executive Forrest North told TechCrunch. Sounds great. Makes me, all of a sudden, wish I had an EV (and an iPhone, but I’ve been wanting that for awhile).

Here’s a little more from Insteading:

With the PlugShare App, users can:

  • Share electricity with others
  • Browse a listing of public charging stations
  • View profiles of other PlugShare members
  • Call or SMS other PlugShare members
  • Search for places to charge
  • Connect with other EV owners and enthusiasts
  • Set privacy and notification settings
  • Get directions to shared outlets or charging stations

Thoughts? Have the app yet? Give us some comment love.

Related EV Stories on CleanTechnica:

  1. Google Maps Will Guide EV Drivers to Charging Stations
  2. Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have an Electric Vehicle?
  3. GE Converts Parking Lot to Solar Charging Station for Electric Vehicles
  4. Texas Gets First Wind-Powered Cars in the U.S.
  5. Car 2.0 Overview

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



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  • Ben

    My concern is that this type of information can go stale quickly and not updated.  Anyone who has ever tried to find free wifi in a city knows this all too well.  There are maps like this for wifi as well but many no longer exist or were not free.

    • Anonymous

      yeah, i think that it develops a truly active community of EV drivers is critical — they seem to be emphasizing that component quite a bit, but who knows if it will actually catch on

    • Anonymous

      yeah, i think that it develops a truly active community of EV drivers is critical — they seem to be emphasizing that component quite a bit, but who knows if it will actually catch on

    • Anonymous

      The charge points which can tell one if they are available or if they can be reserved are going to be web connected so it shouldn’t be much trouble to query them from time to time to see if they still exist.  That’s certainly something easily built into the system.

      I suspect we’ll see something like smart charge points which read the
      EVs ID, meter power used, and bill the owners account.  That should be
      cheap to install with large volumes of charge locations, $10 cell phone
      cheap.  The billing info would provide the basis for accurate site
      maps.

      The other, crowd-sourced, places should get upgraded by crowd-sourcing as well.  If someone goes there to charge and there’s no longer an outlet some people would report it if the reporting process is easy.  Seems like a smart phone app would make this simple.  An app could lead you to a charge point and then query you some minutes later to see if everything worked.  One button press to indicate a problem.

    • Forrest North

      Hi Ben,

      PlugShare works hard to not be Stale!As of now we have almost 10,000 stations on our map, and over 50% have been reviewed by our users.  This means you can see if someone has used a station recently and what their experience was.  Currently there are about 500 stations being put in the ground per month which all get added to PlugShare.  Also many people share their home charging port with the  public which is a great way to make the EV movement happen faster.-Forrest North

  • Anonymous

    Looks like rapid charging points are starting to roll out…”As part of the Green Highway
    project where California, Oregon and Washington are partnering to turn
    Interstate 5 into the first alternative-fuel-friendly freeway in
    the U.S., AeroVironment is installing Level 3 EV quick chargers
    along the route in Southern Oregon.For this first phase of the project, from the California state line
    to the Willamette Valley, 150 miles of the highway will have
    convenient access to EV chargers that can fully charge a battery in 30
    minutes.  Eight interchanges will be picked based on common
    destinations, vehicle range and driving distances.  The chargers will
    be installed by the end of the fall.
    The Green Highway will ultimately run from San Diego to Vancouver,
    B.C. and will feature not only EV charging and battery swap
    stations, but alternative fuel filling stations for biodiesel,
    compressed natural gas and hydrogen.  The project is being funded by
    the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”http://www.ecogeek.org/component/content/article/3521and charge times on the way down…”Norway-based electric car firm Think announced yesterday that it has teamed up with charging technology specialist AeroVironment to produce a new system that promises to recharge a flat battery to 80 per cent capacity within 15 minutes. The
    tests have confirmed that the technology is ready for commercial
    deployment and Think said that it would now work with AeroVironment to
    roll out fast-charging stations to fleet customers and commercial sites
    such as shopping malls, convenience stores and parking garages.”http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/1804301/fast-charger-promises-fuel-electric-cars-minutes

  • Anonymous

    Crowd-sourcing is a great idea. 

    Can it be fit together with existing charger maps which tell one which charge points are now available/in use and let one reserve a place to plug in as some now can? 

    As the infrastructure rolls out it’s going to be important to plan your charge stops for longer trips.  Not very helpful to know that there’s a station where you need it and roll up, almost out of juice, to find a long line of cars waiting to charge.

    • Anonymous

      not sure about that, but i hope so! (on both points) :D  

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