Why a central database of charge points will never work

It has been claimed by some that there are over 70 databases of electric vehicle charge points in existence right now and this number is going up every day. As an EV owner I need to have easy, quick and accurate information about the location and availibility of charge points. If I am running out of power and I am in my car with just a mobile phone to access the internet I cannot sift through 10, 20, or more web sites looking to see if there is a charge point nearby. I need a single web site where I can go to, log in, and get an accurate picture of what charge points are near.

The problem with this is that there is not any one single source of that information. The various post manufacturers have their owner databases. The various “plugged in Places” have theirs. there are other private networks of charge points such as Ecotricity and shortly Little Chef. Then there are the community sourced charge points that have no “smart” features such as those supplied by the charity Zero Carbon World and other privately sourced locations such a private homes and work places. How is all this infor going to be pulled together into a single location for the EV driver to access when he is low on power?

Well, the short answer is that is isn’t.

There are some projects with laudible objectives to try do that that. Open Charge Map for example has the rather grand objective to hold all charge point data not just for the UK but worldwide! But that is not the only one. Plugsurfing UK is another. In prinicple it is a desirable objective but can it ever happen. In my opinion that answer is no.

The problem is really two fold.

Firstly, the main issue is that the bulk of the data is owned and maintained by commercial organisations such a Pod Point, Chargemaster and Charge Your Car. They will always want to hold on to their data as it represents to them a commercial value.

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