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EV Articles by Paul Gipe

October 18, 2019
Paul Gipe

What's that Number on PlugShare Mean?

Short answer: High number--the station is relatively reliable; Low number--station is unreliable. Drivers want to avoid stations with low numbers.

PlugShare is a crowd-sourced web site that maps and rates EV charging stations. Because it's crowd-sourced, it's not dependent upon the various charging networks for information about charging stations. Users can report problems with a station or a particular kiosk at a station where the charging network might be more reluctant to warn users about problems with their equipment.

Most experienced drivers use PlugShare to map their charging stops. They may also use specific charging network maps, but PlugShare remains the "go to" mapping app for EV drivers.

All drivers should check reports on PlugShare before they plan to stop at a charge station. I do. Knowing in advance that a station is down, that it's often busy, or that some of the dispensers are out-of-service can save you a long wait or worse. No one wants to arrive at a station with a low state-of-charge to find that they can't charge.

Because PlugShare includes commentary from users, drivers can determine beforehand that a particular kiosk is problematic so they know to avoid it if they can.

PlugShare also displays the type of dispenser. It uses different symbols for Level 2 (green) and DCFC (orange). The station description also lists the connection standard (CCS, CHAdeMO, or Tesla) for DCFC kiosks.

PlugShare rating numbers in green indicate the station is active. Numbers in gray means the station is offline.

Drivers can filter their station search by connection standard. If you're driving a CCS equipped EV, you don't want to stop at a CHAdeMO only kiosk--and they're still quite a few of those out there. Similarly, if you're driving a Nissan Leaf, for example, you don't want to stop at a CCS kiosk.

Please check in on PlugShare whenever you charge at a station on the road. PlugShare only works if everyone regularly uses it.

This is what PlugShare itself has to say about its rating system.

What is the green number to the left of the station label?

"A station's PlugScore reflects the experience of its most recent users. When a PlugSharer reports a negative experience at a station, its score drops. When a PlugSharer reports a positive experience, the station's score rises. A neutral comment or check-in does not affect PlugScore."

For other questions on how to use PlugShare, see the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) at the bottom of the browser page.



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