Much like the function on Google Maps designed to help you find EV charging stations, start up Xatori has released a new iPhone app recently that allows electric vehicle owners to see where publicly available stations are available in their area to charge up their rides. A software company out of Palo Alto, California, this app developer is a relatively new entity focusing on software specifically around electric vehicles; Marc Tarpenning, co-founder of Tesla Motors, is an advisor for the firm.
The free app is called PlugShare (available through iTunes), and uses crowd-sourcing to its advantage to pool collective information. Any users will be allowed to view the interactive map, but in order to see profiles of other members and subsequent information, a PlugShare account must be made. PlugShare allows user accounts to browse public charging stations, search for the nearest places to charge, as well as connect to other electric vehicle enthusiasts.
Perhaps, the most interesting feature is the ability to call or text other PlugShare members so you can share with one another either 240v J1772 plugs (compatible with the latest generation of EVs, such as the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt) or standard 120v outlets. The app allows for privacy settings to avoid this feature, if a user so chooses. CEO Forrest North notes, however, that everyone has an electric outlet, regardless if they own an electric vehicle, and feels that “sharing electricity from a standard outlet only costs $0.15 an hour, a small price to lessen our dependence on oil.”
Xatori believes its app will reduce “range anxiety” or the possibility of running out of power; a common concern associated with EV ownership. If you happen to be an Android owner, however, you may have to live with said anxiety a little longer, at least until a version of PlugShare is released for your smartphone platform.