power up your EV charging

Posted on April 25, 2012


engadget are covering the GE press release regarding a charging post for EVs called WattStation and WattStation Connect.

this may be yawn inducing news,  except that there is a mobile app for it,  and I think this is quite an important element to the overall uptake of Electric Vehicles.

At the moment not only are the cars more expensive to buy, you have the “range anxiety” to boot.  This is the worry about where you can top up  the car.  This is made much worse by the scarcity of specialist charging points,  and out ignorance of where they are.  Combine these two things and you have a self defeating circle that will mean folks like me are not going to buy an EV any time soon,  and I would like to.

However if you have an app that runs on your phone, (and in the car I presume) then you can be sure to know where you can charge your car,  this will reduce range anxiety a lot,  until the day comes where charging points are ubiquitous and the problem just goes away.

So a clever app that lets you control your car’s charging (I wonder if it will let you turn it on early and run up the heater, so that it is warm for when you get in (or indeed cool!)  and know where these points are located is a good way out of this self defeating circle.

It reminds me of the way SMS became successful, early on the operators did not exchange messages between them selves,  so you could only text people on the same network.  Once the regulators forced them into co-operation and allowing anyone to text anyone else,  then the grwoth really kicked in.  And this is simply because you did not have to worry if the recipient would get the message,  once this worry has gone,  then confidence replaces worry et voila.

So EV, and charging/infrastructure suppliers: please take a leaf out of SMS’s book and work together during this early adopter phase.

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Posted in: EV, mobile