With the roll-out of plug-in and electric vehicles this year, car owners are going to need to know where else besides their home they can charge their car. Communities are working to accommodate these new vehicles by installing public charging facilities, but that won't help much if no one can find them.
Tying the pieces together is the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Map created and maintained by the Cleantech Authority, an environment-conscious information hub that provides actionable resources for readers to use.
The collaborative Google Map is user supported and contains the locations and types of electric charging outlets, including the solar tree--a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station-- at the Googleplex and the ChargePoint Stations recently installed in San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.
The map is far from exhaustive, but the site administrator Court Rye is counting on the public to help flesh it out. Any user who wishes to contribute a new location can create an account on the site that enables them to add new charging site information.
The Cleantech Authority also maintains a parent map that includes the locations of biofuel and hydrogen fueling stations.
However, these maps require that you plan in advance or have a Web-enabled mobile device handy. Integration with electric car navigation systems in unknown at this time. GM spokesperson Carolyn Normandin did not know if the Chevy Volt's navigation system will include nearest electric car charging station locations. That feature isn't as critical to the Volt since it's a a plug-in hybrid that can operate off of fuel, she said, but if your heart is set on operating electrically as often as possible, OnStar is only a button push away and can help you out.