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Just saw the email below from Plugshare's CEO. I am guessing it is good for the two companies to merge if it brings EVgo information to Apple Carplay and Android Auto once it is active in the Volvo P8.

Dear PlugShare Member,

I’m writing today to share some good news about the future of PlugShare and to extend my deep gratitude for your participation in our community and for contributing to a greener future.

Today we’re announcing that PlugShare and our parent company Recargo have been acquired by EVgo, the largest public EV fast charging network in the United States.

EVgo is an ideal home for us as they support our core principles of neutrality and co-operation. They have been a great network partner of ours for a long time and have always valued sharing their network data with the PlugShare community and hearing your feedback to better understand how they can serve drivers better and get your unique perspective on what is happening “on the ground” at their stations.

PlugShare will remain an open resource to support all of the charging networks and other EV companies and organizations that are so vital to building an electric future. EVgo’s support will allow us to continue this mission in an even stronger way in the years ahead.

Critical things that are not changing:

  • The entire Recargo team’s focus on enhancing the EV driver experience and accelerating EV adoption.
  • Our commitment to data protection and privacy. EVgo will not gain access to the PlugShare database to use as a marketing tool.
  • Our product commitments across the Web, Android™ and iOS™ and new platforms like Android Auto™ and CarPlay™.
  • Above all, our focus on and commitment to you, the driver.
Even as Covid-19 continues to be a challenge in many parts of the world, it has been amazing to see the acceleration of EVs this year. Thanks to you, PlugShare now lives on over 3.2M mobile devices, helping to make owning an EV worry-free. It’s inspiring to see the PlugShare community spirit in action, with more than 3 million driver reviews and 500,000 photos contributed so far, with many more to come.

The road ahead is now, more than ever, one to a clean transportation revolution and we are so very honored to be on the trip with you.

Happy charging and safe travels,

Nick Wild

Co-Founder and CEO and the entire PlugShare team
 

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Interesting...

Remembering that the number of stations shown on a PlugShare map is limited, we can see how the stations in PlugShare Pay are complementary to the stations in the EVGo network. PlugShare Pay chargers are currently mostly L2 while EVgo is primarily DC Fast Charging. EVGo is focused on major routes and PlugShare Pay is a bit more geographically dispersed.

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I should casually drop Metcalfe's law here, "a network's value is proportional to the square of the number of nodes in the network." Merging networks is a win-win for everyone.

Some concerns:

PlugShare used user contributions (crowdsourcing) to source a lot of the data. I think we will see some general blowback just like when Waze sold out to Google, especially if promotes their own network in ways that the community dislikes. EVgo could, and I am not saying they would, define uptime in ways that made their own network look stronger than a competitor thus raising their PlugScore. They could even decide that accepting PlugShare Pay should factor into the PlugScore. (Currently PlugScore is based on user reviews.)

PlugShare has some great features in their route planning. Someone on the forums stated a preference for it over ABRP. Although I prefer ABRP, EVgo could go one of two ways either improving it or killing it. I, for one, was more likely to trust route planning from a company that didn't have a stake in where I charged.

To me EVgo seems like it's struggling. It seems like it let Electrify America pass it by. Their chargers aren't as nice looking as Electrify America's which seems silly but could impact their attractiveness to both landlords and investors. EVgo is backed by GM, but it seems that even GM has been sitting still while others started delivering mainstream EVs.

I think that real success for EV charging networks will be defined by fleet operations. Both ChargePoint and Electrify America position commercial solutions at the very top of their homepages. EVgo has a fleet page but you need to open a menu to find it. The page itself is just a fancy email us button. The auto manufacturer supporting charging network is a temporary anomaly. (I almost wrote this same thing on the Tesla compatible charging thread.)

Other than fleets, I expect that most charging will become a commodity operation that gets regulated and managed by the power companies. Retail EV charging is not a market I would want to be in. For example take Volta, they believe the space the charger occupies is more valuable for advertising than as an EV charger.

Google will eventually catch on and get route planning right. They have all the correct pieces including the road data and the advertisers. Google Maps just hasn't gotten the message yet. Off topic: Whose brilliant idea was it to have the map in the XC40 show gas stations?
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