You can now ‘tap to charge’ your electric car with a phone or watch
The easier it is to charge an electric car, the more people are likely to buy them. So goes the thinking at ChargePoint, the largest car-charging network in the U.S.
To that end, ChargePoint on Thursday introduced a “tap to pay” app for the iPhone, the Apple Watch and Android phones.
Rather than peck through menus on a touchscreen to pay, users can tap their device on a ChargePoint station, plug in and start charging.
The service is available on most of ChargePoint’s 40,000 charging stations in the U.S.
The 10-year-old company, based in Campbell, Calif., on the south edge of Silicon Valley, depends on the popularity of electric vehicles for its own growth.
“ChargePoint is committed to getting every driver behind the wheel of an EV. A major part of achieving that goal is making it as easy as possible for drivers to charge,” said Colleen Jansen, ChargePoint’s chief marketing officer.
Tesla’s Supercharger network receives massive publicity, but those chargers are restricted to Tesla drivers. Almost any electric car can load up on electrons at a ChargePoint station.
The company has expanded its network by selling charging stations to retailers and others to put in their parking lots. Now it’s expanding its services arm, which helps owners of electric car fleets — such as mass transit agencies and trucking companies — manage their fueling operations.
It also has embarked on a major business expansion in Europe and is beginning to sell high-power quick-charge direct-current stations.
The company said it plans an IPO sometime in the next few years.