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Best EV Charging Apps You Need on Your Phone

Best EV Charging Apps You Need on Your Phone

With the rise of electric vehicle (EV) adoption, the need for efficient and convenient EV charging solutions has grown as well. EV charging apps play a crucial role in helping EV owners find, navigate to, and manage charging stations, making it easier to keep their vehicles powered up.

What Do Charging Apps Help With?

EV charger apps are designed to simplify the process of charging electric vehicles by providing essential information and useful features. These apps offer various functionalities, including:

  1. Finding charging stations: Charging apps provide real-time information on the locations of nearby charging stations, making it easy for EV owners to plan their journeys accordingly.

  2. Directions to charging stations: Charging apps often integrate with navigation systems to guide drivers to the selected charging station with ease.

  3. Checking station availability: Some apps allow users to check if a particular charging station is available or in use before arriving at the location.

  4. Monitoring charging progress: An EV charger app provides updates on the charging status, enabling users to keep track of the charging process remotely.

  5. Managing payment: Many apps facilitate easy payment processing, allowing users to pay for charging services directly through the app.

  6. Providing charging station details: Charging apps often offer additional details about charging stations, such as the charging speed, connector type, and station rating.

Which Apps Do I Need?

When it comes to an EV charging app, there are two main types:

Aggregator Apps

Aggregator apps gather data from various charging networks and present it in a unified interface. These apps act as a one-stop-shop for EV drivers, offering information about all the charging stations available across different regions or even countries. This is particularly helpful for those who frequently travel or drive long distances, as they can rely on the aggregator app to find charging stations along their routes.

The strength of aggregator apps lies in their ability to provide extensive coverage, giving users a more diverse selection of charging points. Additionally, many aggregator apps rely on user-generated data, enabling electric vehicle drivers to contribute by adding private charging stations to the app's database. This community-driven approach promotes a sense of collaboration among EV enthusiasts and helps improve the accuracy and availability of charging station information.

Network-Specific Apps

Network-specific apps, on the other hand, are developed and maintained by individual charging networks. These apps are tailored to provide access exclusively to charging stations within their specific network. For users who consistently rely on a particular charging provider, these apps offer a seamless and integrated experience. They often provide additional features such as account management, loyalty programs, and promotions specific to that network.

One significant advantage of network-specific apps is their reliability and consistency. Since these apps are maintained by the charging network operators themselves, users can expect up-to-date information on station availability and accurate charging status. Many network-specific apps enable seamless payment processing, allowing users to handle billing directly through the app.

What Are the Most Popular Charging Apps?

Let's classify them into the aforementioned types.

Aggregator Apps:

  • PlugShare: Widely recognized as one of the top charging apps, PlugShare serves as an aggregator app, combining data from various charging networks and also allowing users to add private charging stations. This makes it a valuable tool for EV owners looking for charging points wherever they go.

  • ChargePoint: Known for its reliability, ChargePoint provides access to an extensive network of public charging stations. The app offers convenient payment options and is highly regarded for its user-friendly interface.

  • Electrify America: Associated with the largest open DC fast-charging network in the United States, Electrify America offers high-speed charging options for EV owners. The app's widespread coverage has contributed to its growing popularity.

Network-Specific Apps

  • EVgo: EVgo is a popular app that focuses on fast-charging options. This app for EV chargers caters to users seeking quick and efficient charging solutions, making it particularly suitable for road trips and longer journeys.

  • Blink Charging: Blink Charging's app is known for its user-friendly interface and access to a wide range of charging stations across the country. It provides reliable charging options for EV users.

  • Greenlots: Greenlots emphasizes sustainability and integration with renewable energy sources. The app provides a network of charging stations with an eco-friendly approach.

  • Tesla: Exclusively available for Tesla owners, the Tesla app provides access to the brand's extensive network of fast-charging stations, making it an essential tool for Tesla EV owners.

  • Volta: Volta is one of the largest U.S. networks of free EV chargers, developed and maintained by the Volta Charging network. It offers a seamless and integrated experience for users who frequently use Volta's charging stations, allowing them to easily locate and access the free charging points at malls, shopping centers, grocery stores, and other retail locations.

What Is the Best App for Finding EV Charging Stations?

PlugShare stands out as a highly valuable resource for electric vehicle owners due to its extensive coverage of all types of charging stations, unlike other apps that may focus solely on specific brands or designs. However, it is essential to recognize that no single app is a perfect fit for every scenario.

To ensure the best experience, don't hesitate to mix and match charging apps based on your preferences. While some apps may offer almost identical pros and cons, your choice may come down to the user interface and personal preferences.

The most effective charging apps go beyond merely locating nearby EV charging stations. They provide crucial information on charging speed, current rates, and station availability. Additionally, they offer route planning features for extended drives, considering charging points along the way and ensuring compatibility with your electric vehicle.

Exploring various charging apps empowers electric vehicle owners to make informed decisions and optimize their charging experience for a smooth and hassle-free journey.

FAQs

  • What is the best app for finding car charging?

    PlugShare is widely considered one of the best apps for finding car charging stations. It combines data from various charging networks and also allows users to add private charging stations, providing extensive coverage and user-driven information.

  • Is there an app for free EV charging?

    While some apps may display free charging stations, the availability of free charging largely depends on the charging infrastructure in your area. Apps like Volta, PlugShare, and ChargePoint may indicate free charging options occasionally.

  • Is there an app that shows all car charging stations?

    Aggregator apps like PlugShare and ChargePoint compile data from various charging networks, making them excellent choices for showing all available car charging stations in their databases.

  • What apps do I need to charge my electric car?

    The apps you need to charge your electric car will depend on your location, the charging networks available, and your specific requirements. Generally, having a combination of an aggregator app like PlugShare and a network-specific app like ChargePoint should cover most charging needs. However, it's good to explore other apps like EVgo, Electrify America, and Blink Charging to ensure comprehensive coverage.

     

Want to charge in the comfort of your home? Check out Lectron's lineup of J1772 and Tesla chargers, adapters, and more!

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