GE WattStation Publicity ShotEnlarge Photo
If you drive an electric car, you’ll be familiar with the frustration that occurs when you arrive at a charging station to find you can’t use it because you don’t have the correct smart card, key, or dongle.
For those without the correct card, some charging providers can unlock a charging station over the telephone using a credit card payment, but now GE has started to accept Paypal payments via smartphone.
Using a free smartphone application called Wattstation Connect, users scan the QR code printed on each WattStation public charger.
The application then identifies where you are, calculates the correct tariff payable, and allows you to pay for your charging using a PayPal account.
In addition, the smartphone app helps users locate available charging stations, as well as view any pricing information before they arrive.
Wattstation ConnectEnlarge Photo
By using PayPal, the system allows an extra level of security which means that instead of the user giving his or her bank or credit card details out over the telephone in a public place, they can simply pay using a secure smartphone app.
Alongside the launch of the iPhone app, GE has launched a companion website which lets users check on the status of charging stations and find out about charging tariffs before they leave home.
GE's Wattstation Connect is the latest in a line of ideas from charging station providers eager to get you to leave your charging station smart cards at home, but do you prefer pay-as-you-charge charging networks, or ones that require a membership card and monthly subscription to use?
Or perhaps you’d rather see free, unrestricted charging stations?
Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below.