CATHEYS VALLEY, CA – A new charging station finder recently appeared in app stores as quietly as the EVs it was developed for whir along. Created by California rancher-come-programmer David Raboy, CarStations is the latest in a lineup of mobile mapping apps developed to help electric cars go the distance.
Raboy–whose 2005 standoff with Ford to stop the company from crushing his electric-powered Ranger pickup made national headlines–is throwing his app in the ring to compete for the title of the fastest and easiest way for EV drivers to find their charge anywhere in the world, from shopping malls to business parks to camp grounds. He is also a co-founder of Plug In America, an advocacy group started with fellow EV drivers at his Central California ranch.
Available free for both Apple and Android mobile operating systems, CarStations gives EV drivers an easy way to plan routes for an afternoon of suburban mall hopping or a month of regional road tripping. Developed to be more finger friendly at freeway speeds than a common car stereo, CarStations is competing against PlugShare and Recargo for its fair share of an emerging market of electric vehicle drivers projected to grow to millions by the end of the decade.
CarStations currently lists over 1,700 electric car charging stations with more being added daily by both the company and its growing community of EV drivers. The app 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.
CarStations’ crowd-sourcing feature gives EV drivers the power to add and update charging stations from their iPhone or Android. Users can also share helpful information with the CarStations community such as a charging station’s exact location in a super-sized suburban parking structure and the best nearby coffee shops for fellow drivers to chill out while they charge up.
The company is already being courted by companies eager to drive traffic to newly installed charging stations, and Raboy has had preliminary talks with major automakers about the possible wholesale integration of CarStations into advanced on-board electronics that have become a hallmark of electric vehicles.
“Most Americans drive less than 50 miles a day, and most electric car drivers start their daily commute with a fully-charged battery that gets topped up nightly at home,” shares David Raboy, founder of CarStations. “EV charging stations will soon be as commonplace as WiFi hotspots, and when drivers need to go the distance, CarStations will help them find their charge.”