BMW brought 80 software developers and computer programmers together to tackle the themes of sustainability and electro-mobility in a hackathon last month. BMW hosted the Sustainability Hackathon to deal with a widespread problem – electric vehicles that get parked at charging stations – for example, during the workday – for extended periods of time beyond the few hours needed for charging.

One typical problem the coders were trying to solve was this: a driver shows up at a charge station needing just a few minutes of charging to reach his destination, but there's another car hooked up. The solution could be to anonymously contact the driver of the parked car to request permission to charge for a few minutes, and reconnect the original car upon completion. The winning apps in the contest would enable this sort of communication to more efficiently use charging stations. Fifteen apps for smartphones and mobile phones competed for first place in seven award categories. A total of $3,000 in prize money was awarded to the most practical, creative apps. The Hacker League page has a list of categories and winners.

The event, held April 27-29 at BMW's Technology Office in Mountain View, CA, was sponsored by BMW's car sharing subsidiary DriveNow and charging station network developer ChargePoint.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Month Ago
      Impractical. Due to how charge timers work, even if you disconnect the other car and plug it back in it won't necessarily charge. The real answer to the problem is not to run so low on charge. If you do, then you're just going to either have to wait or just bone the other guy. Besides, if the problem really were "for extended periods of time beyond the few hours needed for charging" the other guy isn't going to be boned anyway. He's already charged.
      • 1 Month Ago
      When drivers are using public charging stations and they don't need much of a charge they should leave a card that says when it is ok to disconnect them. Also the charging indicator lights display the current charge level so you can see whether the vehicle is low, full or done charging. An ev charger disconnection card with instructions: