You know the feeling. You’re ready to go to work, grab your stuff, grab your phone, only to realize you forgot to recharge its battery overnight. Gone are the days when phones had replaceable batteries, so you’re stuck with a dead weight in your pocket.
Now, imagine if that happens to your car! That’s what I hear over and over from friends. “Electric cars are not for me because I’ll always forget to plug it in.”
So today I got back from work and, on purpose, I did exactly that: I did NOT plug it in. I went inside the house and a few minutes later I heard an email sound on my iPhone. I opened the email and saw the following message:
For a moment, that felt like something out of a science fiction book! The car had just sent me an email basically saying “I’m home and ready to charge but you forgot to plug me in to my charging station!”
It also sent me a text message, just in case.
The Leaf can do this because it is equipped with a GPS and has its own 3G cellular connection. It also “remembers” it was able to charge at this location before and that I configured a timer saying it’s supposed to recharge every night.
This is an awesome example of technology being used in a very smart way to solve a very common problem we have as humans: we forget stuff. The notifications are all configurable of course. I can tell the Leaf to send me just a text message or just an email, or both. I can also tell it to notify me if someone unplugged the car before the charge was completed. I can configure what hours of the day and what days of the week I want it to charge, in order to take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates. And I can tell it how much charge I want every night: 80% to save energy and prolong the lifetime of the battery, or 100% if I really need the full range.
If only phones were that smart…