I regularly attend the Electric Vehicles North Texas (EVNT) meetings put on by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). From the EVNT site:
“Electric Vehicles North Texas (EVNT) was developed to coordinate a partnership with utility companies, regional governments, school districts, transit authorities, and local businesses in an effort to promote adoption of and ensure adequate resources for electric vehicles.“
These meetings are very informative and allow me to keep up with electric vehicle adoption in North Texas, as well as proposed plans for the future that affect EV owners. It also allows my voice, as an EV owner, blogger and EV sales professional, to be heard (boy, I bet they’re getting tired of my voice…). We all joke about the inefficiency and lack of dedication of government bureaucrats, but the NCTCOG people I have met are driven (no pun intended) to improve air quality and push EV adoption in Texas. I thoroughly enjoy the meetings and have met other EV-oriented individuals there, with whom I network.
At the August 13th meeting, I watched a presentation put on by Robert Kent, the Director of Public Policy for the North Texas Commission, a regional non-profit corporation in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The presentation was about the NTx Apps Challenge. This challenge was a competition designed to promote app development in four sustainability areas: water conservation, waste and recycling, smart energy and transportation. The winning teams in each category would win $10,000 of up-front cash for their development efforts as well as an additional $10,000 for continued development on their app.
After the meeting, Robert asked if I’d like to share ideas with the teams working on transportation apps. I was invited to a brainstorming session, in which we all kicked around ideas for the teams to develop. One of the teams was interested in creating an app to help EV drivers find charging stations. Of course, there were already a plethora of such apps already available, so I was a bit dubious about their idea. However, we all did some out-of-the-box thinking, about what sorts of functionality we’d like to see in an app of this sort. The winners of the competition were announced October 17th and one of the teams I met created the winning app in the transportation category! The app is named Juxt. Team Juxt, working on the strategy, research and development of the app, was comprised of three members: Gerard Matthew, Priyanka Sharma and Harish Upadhyayula. They developed an app that “allows drivers of alternative fuel vehicles to find fueling stations, parking spaces, and other points of interest along their route, and share this information with other app users.”
The Juxt app is a very slick-looking app that, in addition to finding charging stations and EV parking spots, strengthens the EV community, by allowing users to leave tips on each charging station, as well as photos. I met with Team Juxt again, after their win, to brainstorm ideas for additional functionality to add in the future. The team was very accepting of ideas and there are functions planned in the future that will be truly amazing. I’m not sure if Team Juxt wants me to talk about future capabilities, so you’ll just have to trust me on that one… Here are some screenshots, showing the flow of using Juxt. Click on the image to see all the screenshots or download the PDF.
Click on image to view all the screenshots or to download PDF.
The moral of this story is that each of us can move the EV revolution forward by looking for ways to participate. I haven’t written a line of code in years, although I was a programmer for decades. That doesn’t mean I can’t help/contribute! There are developers out there looking for ideas for apps. They need your expertise as an EV owner. Find a way to locate and network with these developers and we’ll all benefit!
**UPDATE** The Dallas Business Journal published an article about Team Juxt’s win.
P.S. I am not compensated, in any way, by Team Juxt, the Juxt app, and did not receive any of the funds handed out by the competition. I’m just a fan.