PlugShare App Showing Electric-Car Charging Sites: Trip Planner Update

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Finding electric car charging stations in the wild is easy thanks to a variety of iPhone and Android apps. 

PlugShare is currently the leader in charging station locator apps with thousands of stations listed.

Now the company has updated its app with some new features, so we took it for a test drive (test tap, perhaps?).

DON'T MISS: Chargepoint Updates App That Finds Electric-Car Charging Stations: Review (Aug 2014)

Since PlugShare is a third-party app that uses crowdsourcing to identify and report on car charging station use, it currently has the most comprehensive information available for EV drivers.

Plugshare electric-car charging station locator app, May 2015 [screenshot by Ben Rich]

Plugshare electric-car charging station locator app, May 2015 [screenshot by Ben Rich]

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Whenever drivers stop at charging stations, they have the option to leave a review of the location. These reviews are helpful to inform drivers of any special considerations they will need to know before charging.

Recently the PlugShare app update was released with added features and a new interface.

ALSO SEE: Charging Electric Vehicles Across America: How We Did It & Where

The map view has remained largely unchanged, with public charging stations shown as green markers, residential charging stations shown as blue markers, and high-power DC quick-charging stations shown as orange markers.

But the Trip Planner feature is new to the app. You can now type your starting and ending addresses, and it will show you only the charging stations within  5 miles of the route it identifies. 

The online version of PlugShare’s trip planner has a useful feature that allows the driver to adjust the range it uses to identify chargers, but at the moment, this feature is missing from the app. 

Adjusting the range is an expected feature to be added in a future update.

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Some of the notable features include:

  • Activity - Plugshare broadcasts local charging activity, so you can keep up to date on who may be recharging nearby.
  • Bookmarks - Save your favorite charging stations for easy reference.
  • Messages - You can send messages to other drivers without using your email address.
  • Leaderboards - The leaderboards show the drivers who have listed or charged at the most charging stations in the last 30 days.
  • User Profile - You can identify yourself as much or as little as you like in your profile. Other Plugshare users can see it, and will be able to tell which vehicle you drive and how active you are.
  • Options - You can search by specific type of plug, whether a charger is public or private and even specify the network(s) you prefer to use. This can be particularly helpful if you have an access card for one specific network but not for any others.

In summary, the new release of the Plugshare app is a solid update with added usability.

MORE: 'Kick Gas' Movie: Driving Across U.S. In Electric Car & Motorcycles

Still, it would seem that the trip planner will become significantly more useful when Plugshare updates it to allow users to adjust the range in which they seek charging sites along a specific route.

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