There are many, many things to be anxious about in 2017. But ChargePoint (along with other companies that provide public EV charging stations) wants you to be less anxious about running out of juice before you get home. Or wherever you’re going. That’s your business.
ChargePoint’s business is installing charging stations, which they’ve done 30,000 times. That’s more charging stations than there are Starbucks in the US, according to the company.
ChargePoint makes the equipment and installs it. Then the stations at that location are owned and operated by businesses. So maybe the local Starbucks wants to provide charging for its customers. It can install a ChargePoint station and provide that for anyone with a hankering for a latte. Hotels, malls, schools, city buildings — they’re all fair game as charging stations. And yeah, there’s an app for that. If you need to find a charging station, any number of apps can help you locate one nearby.
Get in Line
The company knows, though, that sometimes people plug in while they go into the grocery store for a few things. And then they see their neighbor, and they talk about their kids, which reminds them that they need markers and poster board, which they never buy, so they have to wander the aisles, and then there’s a guy at the self-checkout who doesn’t get how to use the damn thing … and their EV sits at the plug way longer than necessary to refill the battery. Meanwhile, you’re standing there, keys in hand, waiting for them to come back and OMG MOVE THE CAR ALREADY.
ChargePoint has a feature called Waitlist where you sign up for a charge. When the distracted grocery shopper’s car is charged, they get a ping letting them know they need to move. When the station is free, you get a ping to let you know. This seems no more or less annoying than feeding a parking meter.