The world of electric cars certainly crowded, but two if the biggest names, PlugShare and Recargo are now under the same roof. Find out what it means for you.
If you drive a pure electric car, a plug-in hybrid, PHEV or anything with a plug, you probably have heard of Recargo and PlugShare. Both free apps have been around for a while and faithfully used by electric motor drivers. If you haven’t heard of them, these apps allow you find charging stations, write comments, take pictures and more. In other words, they facilitate locating and accessing public charging everywhere. As more chargers are installed, crowdsourcing their location and ease of use is the best way to build an accurate map of the charging stations landscape. Here is a quick snapshot of what to look forward to with this union.
PlugShare & Recargo. PlugShare is joining forces with Recargo. When PlugShare met the Recargo team last year, they discovered they both shared important and similar values. What united them was a common vision for the future of electric cars. It makes perfect sense to combine resources and how both companies can provide an even better experience for plug-in drivers, EVs and PHEVs.
What Will Happen? By now you are probably wondering what will happen to your data, profiles, reviews, and information you have dutifully entered in either apps. According to to both companies’ communiques, the station-finding experience should only get better. We certainly hope so. PlugShare and Recargo will combine their coverage to include over 20,000 charging stations in the U.S. and Canada, adding over 30,000 station reviews and 14,000 photos.
New Tools. Both apps will have more useful tools at your command. PluginCars.com will be the news and discussion site for the EV and plug-in hybrid community. GreenCharge will be the free iPhone app that provides ways to view your car’s driving patterns and charging cost. This will be especially important when considering longer trips or the purchase of a new plug-in car. PlugInsights will be the research service whose mission is to voice what drivers want and need to automakers, utilities, and regulators. Finally, ChargeManager will be an easy-to-use SaaS tool for managing fleets of plug-in vehicles.
Why Is This Important For You? If you have been using either app, you probably have your favorite. As we witness more collaboration in the electric car world, many services will either thrive, fall by the wayside or unite to provide even better services in the near future.
I’ve used both for a while and have personally found Recargo to be slightly easier to use. Recargo enjoys a bigger international clout. However, if you only drive in the US, PlugShare does an excellent job. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Open Standards. One aspect I’m interested in are open standards. Open standards are critical for the success of electric cars. As we see more charging networks, not all are automatically interoperable. Think of the ATM mess and obnoxious fees between banks that can easily add $5 per transactions. No one likes this, nor wants to see it happen in the electric car world. The promise of open standards should eliminate these complications, making the experience a more seamless one for users. While PlugShare and Recargo do mention them, we will have to see in real life how interoperable it will be for an everyday plug-in car driver. Watch for my upcoming article on this topic with GreenLots.
Recargo and PlugShare are the biggest apps used today. Bringing together their services and adding features will only make charging on-the-go easier and allow for a greater adoption of electric cars on the road. We look forward to testing the new apps as they become available.