Once you have an electric vehicle, you will quickly realize that some of your favorite gas stations do not offer electric vehicle charging. That’s why Tesla, Electrify America, and several third-party brands have apps to help you track down the best, fastest, and nearest electric vehicle charging station.
And yes, you can charge your car at home, but when you’re abroad, nearby, or traveling, you’ll want to take advantage of apps to help you find the best location or fastest solution. So, which EV charging station apps should you install and why? Here’s what drivers need to know.
Electric car owners will quickly realize that they need to plan and prepare for where to charge the car. And although it is not easy, it is not difficult either. Tesla’s network continues to grow, Rivian opens new charging stations every day, and there are countless public chargers available if you know where to look.
While we recommend downloading the app dedicated to your manufacturer, such as a Tesla, Ford, or Rivian, there are also charging network-specific apps like ChargePoint and Electrify America. This shows you where each brand’s charger is located, and there are countless benefits to using the charging station app on your phone.
These map apps will help you locate all the major electric vehicle charging networks in your area, give you tips and tricks, show the distance between you and the charger, and some apps even allow you to add filters. For example, some apps can show you any nearby free charging stations. And who doesn’t like free fees?
So, what apps do you need? Well, it depends on where you live and what vehicle you are driving. You can probably use the built-in navigation to find most locations if you have a Tesla. However, these apps will come in handy now that Tesla has released the CSS converter plug, and you can use public chargers.
Whatever electric car you drive, these apps will make life easier when it comes to charging the battery instead of stopping for gasoline.
Plugshare is one of the best apps overall. That’s because it offers a little bit of everything, has tons of customization and filter options, and will definitely get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Plugshare contains information on more than 620,000 chargers in North America, whether they are generic chargers or brands like Electrify America, EV Connect, Tesla, and more. It is a comprehensive app that has it all.
You can also tell the app which vehicle you’re driving, so it knows which chargers to display based on your needs or compatibility. It’s honestly one of the best options out there right now, and every EV owner should have this app. Download it today from the link below.
My favorite is ChargeHub, because it has an excellent interface and many useful features. When you download the app for the first time and add your vehicle information, the app contains a guide to charging electric vehicles for new owners. This will explain the different charge level speeds, types of connectors, what to do and what to avoid and much more for beginners.
The ChargeHub is easy to navigate, with buttons at the bottom to see a map view, trips, community or your profile. With each tab, you can find nearby stations, set a flight, or interact with the community to see reviews, destinations, and other information. Community reviews are great for seeing if a particular charger is fully functional or if you’d be better off stopping by elsewhere.
Electrify America is one of the largest networks of chargers other than Tesla. The company is growing rapidly, constantly installing new chargers, not to mention working with car manufacturers to offer incentives to new buyers. And while Plugshare will show you where the nearest Electrify America charging station is, the dedicated app is still worth a download.
You can use the app to filter results to show the closest charger, the fastest, if the charger is currently in use, and more. You can even change the charger output from the app and save money.
Download the app today if you Have a KIA or Nissan EV with free Electrify America shipping credits.
Another excellent collector that pulls information from all the different brands, networks, chargers, and community is ChargePoint. It is similar to Chargehub, so choose the one you like the most.
With ChargePoint, you can see a map of nearly 200,000 charging ports, filter them by speed, price, location, etc., or see if the charger is currently in use. Many EV owners also have a ChargePoint at home, so this app will let you control and interact with that, set reminders, or track usage. It’s a great app that does a little bit of everything.
Finally, we wanted to mention the EVgo, because it’s a great option that’s getting better day by day. And while their charging stations are primarily located on the East or West Coast, they will vary depending on where you live.
EVgo has a great user interface, many controls and customization, maps, charger type filters, and real-time information about the charging network. Perhaps the best feature of EVgo is the reservation feature. Find a charging station nearby, book it up to 20 minutes in advance, then show up and pick up without waiting in line. It’s so amazing when you stop in a crowded place.
Yes, you absolutely must download at least one or two different electric vehicle charging apps. Not only will you benefit from all of the above, but it is extremely useful for other reasons and a great source of information in an emergency. For example, phone apps can often tell you if a charger is a Level 2 terminal or if it has Level 3 DC fast charging available. It would make a huge difference on a road trip. Or, if you’re about to run out of juice, you can find it Which Possible charger nearby.
Some of the apps detailed here today will confirm if the charger is currently in use, which is useful when only one or two are available in the location. On top of that, some brands will let you reserve a charger for electric vehicles ahead of time, so you won’t have to wait longer on a road trip.
Owners can check charges before they arrive and choose to go elsewhere, search for free chargers, monitor the vehicle and charging process, or see the kilowatts available at a particular station.
Instead of asking Google or Apple Maps for the nearest electric vehicle charger, take advantage of apps that contain detailed vehicle-specific information. Try one on your next trip.