A software device that uses GIS to locate charging stations and which would be installed in electric cars could help alleviate range anxiety fears.
The software platform will allow EV drivers to log in via a website to remotely check the charge status of an EV at any ECOtality charge station, initiate and control the vehicle charging, and help drivers locate the nearest charging stations. ECOtality specializes in clean electric transportation and storage technologies.
“This software helps streamline the transition from gas to electric powered vehicles, allowing consumers to charge where they actually spend their time, and providing them peace of mind, knowing that a way to charge is always just around the corner,” said ECOtality President and CEO Jonathan Read.
Consumers will be able to use the networked portal to program the time of charge, for example, and choose the least expensive, ‘off-peak’ time periods in which to charge. Custom text and email alerts will remind drivers to plug in their vehicles, and will notify them when there is a change in charging activities – including whether a charge is complete or has been interrupted. To alleviate range anxiety, a GIS-based mapping system will help drivers find charging stations, identify how many chargers are available at a particular location and whether or not an individual charger is in use.
The software is being developed by eTec for The EV Project, the largest-ever rollout of electric-vehicle infrastructure in the United States. The EV Project will establish approximately 11,210 electric vehicle charging stations in home-base, commercial and public locations to support the public adoption of plug-in vehicles in major markets in five states: Arizona (Phoenix & Tucson metropolitan areas), Washington (Seattle area), Oregon (Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene), California (San Diego) and Tennessee (Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville).