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New App Designed to Help Electric Car Drivers Charge Up

Coulomb Technologies launches new app to find charging stations.

Campbell-based Coulomb Technologies is helping electric vehicle drivers find charging stations more efficiently and spreading the use of electric vehicles worldwide.

The company launched a new smartphone app on Friday that will assist drivers in finding charging stations and show them what stations are vacant.

According to Coulomb Technologies officials, the infrastructure provides power to more than 20,000 charging sessions a month.

Drivers charge their vehicles for an average of eight hours a session, so knowing which stations are occupied could be extremely valuable to electric vehicle owners.

The ChargePoint Network, started by Coulomb in 2009, provides electric charging stations in 14 countries.

"Knowing the location of an EV charging station is good, and a few EV charging maps exist today, but knowing whether it's available to charge your EV is excellent," said Los Gatos resident Mike Calise, co-founder of EVadvise and new director of EV Business at energy-management behemoth, Schneider Electric.

"EV smartphone applications are becoming pervasive, and they're really simple to use."

He said municipalities that offer EV charging stations stand to benefit as drivers from the Peninsula or Santa Cruz can now extend their trip by charging their car while spending time shopping or dining in town. "This is great for local businesses and promotes cleaner air, quieter streets and reduction in foreign oil," he added.

Los Gatos appears closer to gettingafter town officials asked public works staff to bid out three such access points in downtown parking lots.

The town is looking at different vendors and manufacturers, including , which has received funding from a federal Department of Energy grant to help municipalities provide the stations to the public.

Coulomb is looking like the best option for the town, as it would pay for the stations and the town would pay for the installation.

The locations being considered are owned by the town and include the following:

  • South parking lot across the street from the 
  • Parking lot 5, between Elm and Main streets
  • Parking lot 3, between Royce Street and Grays Lane

Bay City News Service contributed to this report

Isaac Borowiec July 12, 2011 at 12:48 AM
I have a blog post as an op/ed about electric vehicle adoption by the public: http://thespeculativetechinvestor.blogspot.com/2011/07/who-still-wants-to-buy-gasoline-cars.html

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