As the number of recharging stations across the US continues to grow, it is no surprise to learn that not all feedback from individual stations is positive. There have been discrepancies across the board, with some stations described as free, when in fact there are fees to pay, some stations unavailable and some stations not applicable for certain vehicles. It is therefore interesting to see that Recargo, the company which sells PlugShare, has issued a mobile rating system for electric car charging stations.
It will be interesting to see how quickly the feedback builds on this particular service but the idea is very interesting and the timing perfect.
Finding an EV charging station
There is an array of mobile apps and websites which will let you know the nearest EV charging station and give a brief view of what is on offer. These in themselves are very useful when you are planning a long journey and perhaps you are not fully aware of the location of charging stations along the way. However it is becoming apparent that not all electric vehicle charging stations are maintained to the same standards and indeed a number of anomalies have occurred with regards to free/fee paying services.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Each day seems to bring news of extended charging networks around the world, from the US to the UK, from Australia to China. Have you seen an increase in the number of charging stations in your area?"
As the number of electric vehicle charging stations continues to grow, we will see immense pressure to deliver an affordable, reliable, service and basically do exactly what is promised.
How will the mobile app work?
There are two main benefits from this electric car charging station rating app. Not only can potential users read the feedback of previous visitors, but they can also leave their own comments and there is also the opportunity to work in real-time - in that if somebody is using a charging station then you can plan your journey around their potential charging time.
The charging time issue, and the queues which will inevitably appear at electric car charging stations, will become less relevant as more and more fast charging stations are introduced. This is something which has been progressing fairly quickly of late and we have seen charging times fall from sometimes in excess of seven or eight hours down to less than an hour for many of the fast charging services.
Putting pressure on the recharging networks
At this moment in time, due to the relative lack of electric vehicles and recharging networks, there is no real pressure upon individual charging networks around the US. The introduction of his rating system will certainly refocus the eyes and the effort of companies in this sector and it is highly likely that those that do not maintain their services to a relatively high standard could feel the wrath of consumers as well as financial pressure.
Even though this type of system is always open to abuse there are ways and means of effectively discounting biased comments, which will only really come into play once the volume and feedback is sufficient. It is relatively early days for this rating system but the idea and the technology in place make perfect sense for what is expected to be a significant area of the electric vehicle industry in years to come.