Sunday, March 25, 2012

App: Recargo

Locate electric vehicle charging points intelligently filtered for your needs.

Recargo provides essential functionality required by electric vehicle owners. It combines this functionality with news from PluginCars.com, mutually serving both the application and the blog. 

On launching the application, it immediately searches and lists the nearest electric vehicle charging stations to the user. This menu is under the "Nearest" tab in the picture below. Each item is clickable, revealing a new page with details on the station: name, location, parking, hours, charger type, and ability to check in. 

Users can select the map tab to view the nearest charging points presented on a map interface. Chargers are represented by pins, which when clicked allow the user to navigate to the already mentioned station detail page which can be seen below. 


One of the apps most useful features is the filtering options in the settings tab. These options allow you to filter your search results by charger type, greatly increasing the relevance of the results returned. The settings tabs also lets users filter by charging network, allowing users registered with these networks to find their charging points efficiently. 

Creating an account, although optional, allows users to save favorite charging stations. 

The application has several competitors: CarStations, ChargePoint, PlugShare, ChargeMap. Many of the competing apps unfortunately are owned and operated by private charging networks and thus display only the network charging locations. Recargo is not affiliated with any network and displays all charging points. The map and directions interface is simple and native, unlike some apps which embed a web-app version of google maps. It has a simple design which isn't distracting or dysfunctional. While it doesn't have some of the features of private network apps such as charge monitoring, it does have an effective search filtering system that many apps lack. 

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