Range anxiety, or the fear of running out of power while driving an electric car, is a common—if not overly hyped—source of stress for EV drivers. Xatori, a startup founded by Forrest North , the founder of Mission Motors and a former engineer at Tesla Motors, released an iPhone app today to change that.
The PlugShare app serves two main functions: It allows users to browse a comprehensive list of nearby public charging stations, and it lets users share their own electric outlets and search for charge spots located inside or outside other people's garages.
"This will be able to double the number of charge stations available in a short time," says North. "It's a way for people to interact with other people in the EV community."
While some users may be able to share fast-charging plugs specifically designed for EVs, even non-EV owners can share the regular electrical outlets that are just sitting on the outside of their garages. It's a chance for people "who aren't going to get an EV to offer up an outlet to see what its about," North says.
Privacy-conscious users have the option of controlling how much information other users can see about their home address. They may elect to only have PlugShare show that their outlet is in the neighborhood so that users have to contact them for the exact address—or they can offer an address upfront.
Next up for Xatori: designing an Android app,and building more software to enable "the democratization of the grid."