"PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Tim Thomson needed a charge, quickly.
With his all-electric Nissan Leaf fast losing battery power and no places to plug in along the highway from Fresno, Calif., to San Francisco, Thompson turned to his iPhone. He pulled up an application called PlugShare that maps charging stations for electric vehicle drivers. A resident in nearby Madera had advertised his home charging station, so Thomson called in a panic. ...
The lack of charging infrastructure nationwide, especially outside EV-friendly cities, has long bred "range anxiety" and chilled sales of the clean vehicles. Utilities, municipalities, workplaces and startups have all ramped up their investment in the infrastructure to calm fears. But in many places, EV drivers still depend on an unreliable patchwork of outlets at hotels and campgrounds.
Increasingly, the sharing economy is filling the void. Private individuals like the man Thomson called are stepping up, offering their personal charging stations, mostly for free, near bustling highways or in places as remote as a desert road hours from Las Vegas. The network has earned the nickname 'Airbnb of charging.'"