Westport, CT and ParkNOW! Launch First U.S. Pay by Cell EV Charging Service
Mobile NOW LLC, a leading provider of Pay by Cell parking services under the service name ParkNOW!™, launched the first ever cell phone based electric vehicle (EV) charging service in the U.S. market. ParkNOW! EV Charging allows drivers to pay for a charging session with a cell phone and receive a charger activation code via smartphone app or text message. The code is generated by Liberty PlugIns’ Synchronous Code Generation system which unlocks the ClipperCreek EV charger and enables the charging session. LPI’s Synchronous Code Generation system creates unique authorization codes that can be transmitted via smart phone application, text message (SMS) or through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
This approach eliminates the need for billing or networking hardware for the EV charger itself making it less expensive, more reliable and easier to install. The ParkNOW!™ billing platform enables parking facility owners to create a revenue stream from both parking and EV charging without having to install pay stations or deal with proprietary, third party billing systems.
The service in Westport, launched on August 22, was made possible by Connecticut Light & Power, a Northeast Utilities Company, which installed the charging station for free as part of its electric vehicle research project to study plug-in car recharging in New England. About 20 municipalities and business customers are expected to join. “Westport and Connecticut Light and Power are leading the way for a whole new generation of automobile owners,” said Krista Altok Tassa, President of the firm that developed the mobile software used by the charging station. “We know of no other mobile application for electric car charging on the market. Everything else is hard-wired,” she added. “In the very near future, mobile phones will be the central source for all personal information and transactions, including retail purchases.”