From John Shannon who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com.
Charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) are popping up all over the place these days, not just in Washington, DC — and that’s a good thing! Ford Motor‘s Mike Tinskey has said the total number of charging stations in the United States has risen sharply in the past few years to more than 11,500 installed units.
How to find them has been a problem in the past. But that is changing as sophisticated smartphone apps are now providing better information and easier access to EV charging points. Manufacturers of charging stations are forming vast complementary and interconnected charging networks across the country that are available via the new smartphone apps. Which is handy, and a good way to increase range and perhaps your EV’s overall performance, not to mention lowering anxiety.
One such network is ChargePoint, now the world’s largest EV charging network.
“Through ChargePoint, DBT USA can now provide station owners and EV drivers features including the ability to help with trip planning, manage the cost of charging, and find and operate public stations.” – Green Car Congress
More and better charging stations, entire charging networks made easily accessible via smartphone, combined with recent, significant price drops for EV’s — what’s not to like?
Car manufacturers are getting into the game directly and Nissan‘s new network will initially start with 40 of their so-called eVgo Freedom Stations to be installed throughout the greater Washington, DC area — thereby becoming the first network of public fast chargers in the region. Owners of cars like the Nissan LEAF will enjoy the eVgo experience as these fast chargers can give an 80% charge in 30-minutes. Time for a latte? Of course, there’s no range anxiety here.
Ford’s MyFord Mobile teams up with PlugShare to give real-time information on nearby charging stations for Ford hybrid-electric and EV vehicles as you drive through the countryside or city.
“It is a little known fact that the majority of charging stations are currently free to use. By giving drivers a clear view of the reality of charging, PlugShare and Ford are showing more and more drivers that now is a great time to start driving on electricity,” Forrest North, CEO of Xatori, which makes PlugShare, said in a statement. “With our real-time, crowd-sourcing features that include photos, reviews and check-ins, PlugShare has quickly become one of the largest and most popular charging station locators in North America.” – PCMag.com
The MyFord system will conveniently and automatically locate the nearest charger to your favourite pizza joint, Starbucks, the mall, or wherever it is that you are going. I love it when technology plays this nice!
- Ford taps PlugShare for EV charging app (sfgate.com)
- Nissan to Build 500 EV Fast-Charge Stations in U.S. Within 18 Months (treehugger.com)
- Report: KC is electric vehicle ‘ready’ (kansascity.com)