Charging network operator ChargePoint has rolled out a new service called Waitlist, which enables drivers to use their mobile phones or RFID cards to “line up” to use a public charging station.
When a charging station is busy, drivers can use Waitlist by tapping their ChargePoint card on the station to get in line. After a car has finished charging, or reached the time or energy limit set by station owners, drivers receive a reminder asking them to move their vehicle so others can charge. When a station becomes available, the first driver in line is notified. Drivers can also set up Waitlist so they are automatically added to a queue every day.
ChargePoint tested Waitlist with 30 customers, serving 14,000 drivers, before making the service widely available, and found that station utilization increased by 20% on average, and as much as 45% for stations that were already busy. Drivers, many of whom had created makeshift systems to deal with crowded charging stations, reported that Waitlist removed the stress of sharing stations.
Waitlist can also be adapted to fit the needs of charging station owners. For example, station owners can limit how long drivers can charge when the Waitlist service is enabled, helping to maximize use of their stations. Analytics and reporting provided by ChargePoint helps station owners plan capacity upgrades and identify drivers who do not move their vehicles in a timely fashion.