People Power: Crowdsourced EV Charging Info

The Mitsubishi i is set to hit the roads in the United States in January 2012, but Mitsubishi is already looking to the collective power of social media to make operating the electric vehicle (EV) as easy as possible. The Japanese automaker has partnered with CarStations to offer a new app for i drivers that will provide charging station information.

CarStations is a crowdsourced EV charging station locator application. Because data is continually updated by both users and CarStations, the app has the latest info on charging station availability and locations. The app gives drivers the power to add and update charging stations from their iPhone or Android. Users can also share helpful information with the CarStations community like parking costs, location status updates, favorite restaurants, pictures, detailed location information and more.

carstations-app-for-iphone

image via CarStations

CarStations currently lists more than 1,800 electric car charging stations and also integrates Google Maps with GPS technology into a real-time tool that quickly finds nearby charging stations and filters for the right type at the push of a button. Its companion website CarStations.com gives drivers a robust desktop option for trip planning.

The app is free and available for both Apple and Android devices. Mitsubishi hopes the app will allow drivers to squeeze as much utility from the i’s 62-mile range as possible by planning routes where charging is easy and convenient. According to CarStations CEO David Raboy, “With an electric car, filling up has completely changed. Electricity is everywhere and a charging station can be as simple as a plug on the wall. Only a crowd-powered app like CarStations can help keep track of it all.”

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.