When you want easy-to-use electric car apps to help plan how and when to charge up for your next trip, you have quite a few options. This guide goes over some of the top EV applications that are now available, and all of the features and functions that make them useful to drivers of fully electric vehicles.
You’ll see how membership or pay-as-you-go models combine with customer service, visibility, crowdsourced data, and more, to offer the drivers of today a smoother process in keeping their electric cars fueled up. Altogether, these options offer drivers a way to transition from the old-fashioned gas pump to a new system of clean and sustainable energy chargers as we move toward more renewables for the electrical grid itself.
After looking at everything that innovators have brought to the table within the last few years, you’ll have a fully customized set of options at your fingertips, whether you’re checking into a hotel, commuting to work, or just cruising the open road, alone or with a friend.
Take a look and select the EV charging app that best fits your electric car model, your drive patterns, and your location, as well as your preferred method of paying for EV charging services. When choosing an app, or apps, it’s often helpful to test-drive any apps you’re interested in before committing. You may find one has more features you’ll use, and you prefer a certain interface over another. It’s a matter of personal preference.
As one of the top EV charging information apps available worldwide, PlugShare has over 230,000 locations on file and works according to a social model where users self-report on local charging status.
Drivers of conventional gasoline vehicles would have wished they had this kind of functionality back in the days of long fuel lines, or in other shortage situations. PlugShare is essentially a “crowdsourced” platform, offering detailed information and user-reported updates like “waiting for charge” and “could not charge.”
You can search by the type of station—public, high power, or residential—and filter by network provider. It’s interactive map also shows residential chargers shared by PlugShare members.
Many EV drivers are really “charged up” about using PlugShare for trips, saying that the platform really builds in transparency for the road ahead, and also has available trip planner features that are popular with many EV drivers.
The ChargePoint app is quickly emerging as a favorite for commuters and other EV drivers, with 108,500 charging spots across workplaces, multifamily dwellings, homes, retailers, and parking garages.
Its app shows ChargePoint stations in addition to other networks and public stations through a real-time map that lets you filter by type of charger, price, and network. With the app, you can locate open stations, see costs, check your charging status, and view your charging history.
Real-time updates are another popular feature of this application. The app will show you busy charging times and offers features such as a waitlist, which lets EV drivers get in line at ChargePoint stations when all ports are full.
Early adopters are enthusiastic about ChargePoint’s functionality, including search capabilities and filtering to match charging stations with an EV vehicle. You can tailor the charging station map only to see stations compatible with your car, and you can get satellite views of charging stations down to the parking spot.
Some drivers might bemoan the complexity of ChargePoint’s automatic billing systems. However, the auto top-off and other features meant to make full charging more convenient are significant incentives for some users to download and use this app when they’re busily moving from one place to another.
3. Charge Hub
With over 100,000 users, Charge Hub helps EV drivers to find their way to the closest charging stations in their areas. Users can share their charging experiences or flag stations with particular difficulties. Users can also chat with other users, which can be helpful in certain situations, for example, if you need to unplug another driver’s car.
You can also share photos through the ChargeHub app and leave comments and tips about specific stations. The app’s map lets you filter by type of charging station, and green and red icons let you know if a station is currently in use.
The visual dashboard display of this platform helps to make local charging strategies transparent, and customizable profiles help target your EV trip to your needs – check-in and leave comments and add photos and more.
For Americans who often travel domestically, EVgo provides services in 34 states, including the Washington DC area, along with other big cities like Boston and Chicago. Its network provides information on over 1,000 DC fast charging locations that can re-up many EVs in under an hour.
Real-time updates are a popular function of this app with turn-by-turn route directions and a user-friendly interface.
One of the best-selling points of the network that comes with an initial $10 charge is live customer service. Think of the old AAA centers and add electric vehicle service to the mix, and you have the type of service that the EVgo app provides.
The EVgo app is quickly gaining traction with some American drivers, especially in busy communities like DC. As some drivers point out, EVgo has a lot of coverage, and it’s easy to see where you’re going to get your next top-up.
For those willing to pay for a membership to get a more robust service model, EVgo is a popular option.
The specific functionality of the EVHotels app involves finding a place to lay your head at night.
Drivers who want lodging facilities with EV charger stations can find over 250,000 hotels worldwide and get traveler rewards with the EVHotels system that is made for hospitality customers. There are specific features for Tesla drivers, and rating and review services for everyone.
Over 170 international brands have signed onto allow EVHotels users to increase hotel loyalty points, which provides excellent synergy for the app -some have also said they like EVHotels more for longer trips, because of the sophisticated route planning features.
EVHotels also places a premium on walkability. The “walk range” feature allows users to look for the perfect EV hotel within walking distance with detailed map information on walk times and specific location data about chargers. The idea is that drivers can get creative in combining their EV vehicle’s charge needs with the human power of getting from one place to another on their own two legs.
Want a way to focus on your particular model and charging system?
The Chargeway app focuses on identifying only the charging networks that work with a particular type of charger. The app uses color-coding to distinguish between 120 V and 240 V levels and DC fast charging as well as features distinguishing ChaDeMo and CCS and supercharger.
By working with car dealerships, utilities, and other stakeholders, Chargeway’s creators are trying to drive more awareness about how to innovate the national charging system as more electric vehicles roll onto American roads.
Cost: Depends on Pass
Canadian and American drivers can use ChargeMap to chart their course with color-coded charging destination identifiers. Navigation and photos give drivers detailed information to help them make decisions about where to power up. Free download and registration make it easy to install this app with its worldwide database of over 166,000 stations.
Users love the clear interface and fast search capabilities and find the app to be reliable, accurate, and up-to-date. Users can look up their charging histories and monitor consumption, while ChargeMap also automates billing processes.
Although network compatibility is limited, the company says its engineers are working on enabling charges from the mobile app itself. Customer support 24/7 by phone or email is another draw for this green driving application.
Another top EV choice, the Greenlots app is brought to you by the corporate Shell Group and has an unusual territory – Singapore and Thailand, along with the US and Canada.
Drivers get all of the usual stuff from Greenlots – real-time charging updates, history and balance information, and a look at all local public charging spots.
There’s also an RFID and QR code functionality to make research convenient, and a customer care team to help answer questions.
While Greenlots presents detailed information on CCS, ChaDeMo, and various charging options, the program doesn’t set networks apart the way that some others do. However, with an extensive network and lots of convenience features, Greenlots is becoming popular with some drivers who use their EV regularly.
Some drivers complain about per-charge fees, while others like to use the Greenlots app to find free charging without a long wait time.
Unlike most of the apps listed here, MyGreenCar is the type of app you’d use before you select your EV. A researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory created this app that lets drivers virtually test drive green vehicles.
Users download the app, choose a few EVs they’re interested in and then drive their own car as usual. The app records data on your driving style—such as how you brake and accelerate, fast or slow—and conditions on your regular routes such as traffic and hills. It also compares your fuel costs in your car versus your selected EVs and predicts your range viability and charging needs.
After collecting data, the app then helps you evaluate which EV would best fit your lifestyle based on the data collected, essentially taking the guesswork out of comparing cars.
Enjoying the Best Electric Car Apps
Any of these EV apps can be a handy way of getting your hands on the information that you need to motor on down the road with convenience in your fully electric plug-in car.
As an additional resource, Steer offers the SteerPass to subscribers to help simplify public charging. Similar to an EZ-Pass, it allows our customers to access stations under many of the above operators and adds even more convenience for drivers who have participated in Steer’s subscription model for electric cars. We want to support drivers in having all of the choices available to them, and getting more done every day behind the wheel of one of our modern EV cars!
Speaking of apps, in case you haven’t already, download the Steer app to get started today!