It seems like everyone has a smart phone these days and that means people are developing some very creative apps. PlugShare is a model app that monitors more than 11,000 public and private charging stations across the US, giving EV drivers peace of mind when it comes to finding the next place to plug in.
One of the major consumer concerns surrounding the EV is the lack of charging stations. No one wants to run out of juice in an EV and be stranded on the side of the road. Granted, EV charging stations are still not as prevalent as gas stations, however being armed with an app like PlugShare will hopefully help current EV drivers and those interested in EVs rest a little easier when behind the wheel.
The PlugShare app launched about a year ago with about 500 EV stations featured on the app. The app now has over 11,000 charging stations in the database — and the data base is growing. According to PlugShare Portland, Oregon has the highest density of Eclectic Vehicle (EV) charging stations – 11.2 stations for every 100,000 people.
PlugShare is not the only data driven program tracking the growing EV trend. ECOtality is a project funded by the Department of Energy and is partnered with a wide range of carmakers, utilities, retailers, government entities and technology providers, to gather a detailed database for tracking more than 4,600 EVs and monitoring around 6,200 charging stations. Other apps such as GreenCharge app monitor EV battery data, charging speed and even allow drivers to see how many pounds of carbon dioxide emissions they have offset by driving an EV.
PlugShare currently has around 100,000 users. It is not only providing charging locations to EV drivers, but the apps is providing information for cities to study in an effort to understand where to place EV charging networks. A town or city planner can look at EV friendly cities like Portland, get an idea of the charging station layout in that city, and then put that plan into action within their own city. Overall it is clear that American cities are getting ready, from an infrastructural standpoint, for the growing number of EVs on American roads.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison