Unlike in the past – over even a few years ago – many of today’s new cars come equipped with vehicle navigation systems (GPS). Coulomb Technologies (a relatively small electric car charging company) is hoping to take advantage of the new standard of in-dash technology to “[battle] so-called range anxiety” (gigaom) in electric cars. Recently Coulomb Technologies and navigation company TomTom teamed up “to offer charging locator, reservation and information services for plug-in car drivers” (gigaom).
The concept is simple: the owner of the electric car can find the nearest charging station via GPS with the tap of a button. “The wireless network is thus used as a sort-of safety net” (gigaom) to ensure the driver has enough juice to continue on the journey without having to worry about where he or she will recharge next.
Gas stations are all over the place. If your car is running low on gasoline, you simply get off at the nearest exit and take a few minutes to refuel. “Because electric vehicles rely on a battery that holds a certain amount of power, and charging the vehicle in standard outlets takes hours (anywhere from four to a dozen), there’s a dedicated range inherent in battery-powered vehicles” (gigaom). Because of this, range anxiety is something that the electric car industry is worried about – recharging is more risky on long-range road trips or unfamiliar places because of the uncertainties.
An electric car charging company like Coulomb is smart to partner with a navigation service company like TomTom. “Coulomb needs to grow its partnerships and network as large as possible in the early days of the EV market, before electric car charging becomes totally dominated by large companies” (gigaom). If the partnership between electric car charging companies and GPS companies continue to flourish, than it’s one less worry for the consumer and one more reason why people should switch to electric cars.