Posting in Energy
Your EV charging station just became a business opportunity, thanks to new software that lets you set hours, rates, and collect payments via a computer or smartphone.
Buying an electric vehicle can be a costly proposition. Aside from the car itself, many EV owners also purchase stations to charge their vehicles from home. It may seem like a lot of investment for a charger that gets used once a day.
But thanks to new software, owners of charging stations may be able to make some money on the side. WattStation Connect is an internet-based software that enables charging station owners to run their stations like a business, setting hours and rates using their computer or smartphone. The software is compatible with internet-connected GE WattStation chargers.
The difference between WattStation Connect and existing apps like PlugShare and Recargo - which already let people publicize a free electrical outlet - is that it allows charging station owners to manage their stations like a business. The software uses PayPal to collect payments, and station owners can view reports tracking how much the stations have made.
The software could provide financial incentives not only to private vehicle owners considering investing in charging stations, but also to businesses with public parking spaces, who may consider expanding their EV charging infrastructure.
Photo: GE Reports
May 1, 2012
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This is an interesting idea, but I can't imaging having perfect strangers pulling into my garage at home to recharge their EV's. Where are they supposed to go for the 30 minutes to 4 hours it takes to charge their vehicle? My front porch, perhaps? Or am I supposed to invite them in for a soy latte and let them watch The Price Is Right? It makes sense for commercial charging stations but seems to have limited applicability for homeowners.
Hi Wally, That's a great point - it may be more relevant for private individuals who live near a commercial center, where people can find a Starbucks and buy the soy latte. But the concept of strangers using someone's private infrastructure to recharge is not new, and several apps have been tapping into that. This software is different because it allows for monetization. I suppose you could say that the market for this already exists, it's just a question of creating the financial incentive! Channtal