Microsoft just launched a national database of plug-in vehicle charging rate plans that makes it a snap to find the best electricity prices to charge your plug-in vehicle. The database is called the Microsoft Utility Rate Service (MURS), and it will be available via subscription to government agencies, power providers, auto makers, and electric vehicle charging equipment companies.
According to Warren Dent, director of business development at Microsoft, MURS will be offered in at least 17 different markets — mostly on the East Coast and West Coast — but also including cities like Detroit, Denver, and Chicago.
To get going, Microsoft is collaborating with one-to-three utilities in each region to get access to the data, and is expecting that its partnerships with companies like Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, and Portland General Electric will provide it with more relevant information. The pricing information will then be sent from the utility companies to Microsoft, which will relay that information to MURS subscribers. MURS sends the data directly to the plug-in vehicle, eliminating the need for interaction with drivers.
Currently, Ford is utilizing on Microsoft’s service to allow its drivers to charge their cars when utility rates are lowest.