Location-based services, at last, are beginning to hit their stride after years of promise. Last year, the number of applications using geolocation to enhance their functionality skyrocketed as Apple rolled out its iPhone, and the research firm RNCOS recently forecast that the global LBS market would reach $75 billion by 2013. Mobile applications increasingly play to users' environmental concerns -- but can location-based services also play a significant role in the transition to plug-in vehicles? A growing number of companies with very different visions of that transition, some of them using software to build new business models around vehicles and mobility, are betting it can, due to the technology's capacity to help them leverage real-time data about charging needs, infrastructure availability, and driver behavior and preferences.
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