Unveiled at the 2013 Plug In Conference in San Diego, CA this week by Recargo and SemaConnect, Pay With PlugShare adds a mobile payment option to both the SemaConnect and PlugShare apps. The idea is to make it easy, allowing one app (well, either one) to live on your phone and handle all of the billing issues for you, without the need for money pre-loaded in your account or a call to a 1-800 number. Different networks can still be involved behind the scenes, but an EV driver will simply interact with the charging station through the phone. You just use the app to navigate to a charging station and then let the phone pay for it, using a credit card number stored within. We're not sure how the phone talks to the charging station, but Pay With Plugshare is apparently available on iOS now and coming soon to Android. The two companies say the new system will be available "at more than 300 SemaConnect charging stations in the United States and Canada." Stations that use the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) will also be supported before the end of the year.
We haven't been able to test it out, but Pay With PlugShare should introduce some flexibility into the EV charging world. Refuel-anywhere, pay-anywhere is one feature of gasoline stations that it makes sense to keep. There's a short explanatory video below.
Launches on the World's Largest EV Charging Station Network
VENICE, CA and BETHESDA, MD– October 1, 2013 – Recargo Inc., electric vehicle software and information services company has partnered with SemaConnect, a national leader in electric vehicle charging stations to launch a new public charger payment solution. "Pay With PlugShare" has been engineered to be the easiest and most universal public charging system currently available, and will operate seamlessly under PlugShare, the most widely used app to find a place to charge and now to pay for your charge. Pay With Plugshare will be available at more than 300 SemaConnect charging stations in the United States and Canada.
Both companies want drivers to be able to plug in at public stations with efficiency and ease. Pay With PlugShare solves the current dilemma of proprietary payment, extra fees, and members-‐only charging. The service combines finding the best place to charge for every driver's unique plug-‐in needs, while accessing the world's largest charging network, with a payment solution built into the same app. Since the payment method only needs a smartphone and doesn't require membership costs and prepaid subscriptions, and RFID tokens or phone calls, this process is more reliable and cost effective for drivers to charge.
"We heard from drivers and charging networks who want to make paying for charging as easy as we've made finding a place to charge. We thought if it's possible to pay for a parking meter with a credit card, why not the same for a charging station?" said Brian Kariger, CEO of Recargo Inc. "We are pleased to launch Pay With PlugShare with SemaConnect and finally give drivers a simple solution to charging payment. Ultimately, we want the industry to thrive and our service to encourage EV adoption by providing the smoothest plug-‐in experience for all."
Pay With PlugShare was designed to easily integrate with any charging network so the driver experience is always easy and fast. The platform is currently available with iOS and will soon be available with Android this winter. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are all accepted; credit card and customer data is stored securely.
As the highest reviewed, most downloaded and most used app serving over 60% of EV drivers, PlugShare aims to satisfy the plug-‐in community's needs. Additional PlugShare features include:
"Our focus has been on building sophisticated charging stations that are simple to use and incredibly reliable with the best user interface possible, so partnering with PlugShare was a natural fit," said Mahi Reddy, CEO and Founder of SemaConnect. "We want to define a higher standard for the charging experience based on quality, not quantity, for all electric vehicle drivers."
• Browse, search, and filter the world's largest database of charging stations
• Check-‐in, review, add tips and photos about charging location experience
• Contact PlugShare members via app, phone or SMS to coordinate charging
• Share electricity from home EV plug or domestic outlet with other EV owners
• Plan trips and get directions to outlets or charging stations via Google MapsTM
• Share charging station links using Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter
• Get notifications when a new charging station is installed nearby
• Stations display a PlugScore rating to show drivers which locations the driver will likely have the best experience.
The Pay With PlugShare platform has been designed to be charging network neutral and scalable from the ground up. Networks providing fee based public charging can add Pay With PlugShare functionality easily while maintaining direct control over pricing and their infrastructure. To match the needs of different networks -‐ Pay With PlugShare can be linked with their existing payment infrastructure or can leverage PlugShare's e-‐commerce infrastructure. Additionally, Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) Support will be rolled out before the end of 2013 allowing Networks that have invested in OCPP to leverage their existing technology. "SemaConnect has been an ideal launch partner for Recargo. Working together we were able to integrate Pay With PlugShare into SemaConnect's exisiting APIs in a matter of weeks not months," said Forrest North, Recargo COO.
Recargo and SemaConnect are dedicated to moving the EV industry forward and supporting the needs of drivers by providing the most convenient public charging experience. Enabling Pay With PlugShare equips EV drivers with the necessary tools to find and access charging easily.
About Recargo Inc.: Recargo Inc. is a leading EV software and services company that provides consumer and industry intelligence through social driving tools to support the adoption and growth of plug-‐in mobility. PlugShare is the company's flagship product with the world's largest charging network. The company is based in Venice, CA, with offices in Menlo Park, CA. For more information about Recargo Inc. and the company's product offerings, visit
http://www.recargo.com/ and follow @RecargoNews on Twitter.
\About SemaConnect: SemaConnect, Inc. is a national leader in commercial electric vehicle charging stations that comes bundled with free cloud-‐based management software to empower stations owners with superior charging management options and electric vehicle drivers with multiple card-‐less charging options. SemaConnect provides a free mobile application that produces real-‐time data usage, station navigation and card-‐less charging sessions. Our sleek and sophisticated charging station has become the top choice in the commercial real estate, hotel, retail and multifamily sectors. Together with Recargo, SemaConnect now provides EV drivers with the largest network of electric vehicle charging station maps on the market. For more information about SemaConnect, visit www.semaconnect.com.