The folks behind Wattpark see an opportunity to bring the gig economy to electric vehicles. They envision a future where people purchase reasonably affordable EV charging ports and install them at home, a business or anywhere they have access to a legal power source, really. Then, the fun begins -- whoever owns the charging station can add it to a network called Book and Plug, and then make it available for other people to use, pricing it however they'd like.
This future is fast approaching. Wattpark is set to launch later this year, with a charging robot starting at $600. The hardware itself resembles a personality sphere from the game Portal, but cut in half and with a little less sass. It's a half-globe with a pupil-like hole in the center that covers up the actual charging port, all of it surrounded by flashing blue and red lights.
Wattpark features a universal charging connector that will work with any EV on the market -- that includes bikes, scooters and cars -- and it functions even outside of WiFi zones. The machine opens up via a Bluetooth connection provided by the Book and Plug app. Travelers in need of some juice would open the app, find a Wattpark charger on a map and schedule a time to visit.
Or, this thing can be used entirely in-home, without the entrepreneurial bent. If you're already dreaming of lines of Tesla owners dropping money into your Book-and-Plug pockets, take a breath -- you'll still have to pay for all of that electricity, remember. That said, you can always buy a charging station, open it up to the public and make it entirely free as an act of environmentalism. It's all up to you.