If you’re looking to purchase a plug-in vehicle but are worried about hassle at the, uh, “pump”, GE and PayPal are joining forces to try and make it as simple as possible to charge your vehicle.
The WattStation charger was launched in April by GE, allowing plug-in vehicle owners to manage and monitor their charging. Now, if you pull up to one to give your car a boost, you’ll be able to use the WattStation Connect app on your smartphone, currently available on Android and iOS, to pay for it. Simply scan the QR code to identify the station and pricing structure, and the power will be paid through your Paypal account with (hopefully) no hassle. The app will also help locate charging stations.
Of course, the effectiveness of all this depends on how many people use the app, and if it helps to become a deciding factor in whether or not people buy electric vehicles. It sounds like an easy way to do things, and with more than 100 million Paypal users, it may be an enticing and simple way to “fill up”.
I don’t think it can hurt to make as many payment options available as possible. The easier it is to fill up, the more people will be inclined to buy electric rather than gasoline-powered vehicles, which means more charging stations will be built. Some businesses even offer electricity for free in the hope it will attract customers, but making it easy to purchase is still important since we obviously can’t expect every business to offer it up at no charge. This sounds like a helpful step.
Would you use the Paypal app to pay for electricity, or would you prefer another method?