There’s no question that today’s smartphones are invaluable life tools. They can be especially handy for those who drive an electric vehicle, particularly to help locate and facilitate battery charging via public stations when needed.
Here’s a quick look at some of the handiest smartphone apps for EV owners, available on both the Apple and Google Play app stores. They’re all free to download unless otherwise noted.
ChargeHub is a tool that can help find and plot a course to the closest public charging stations regardless of the network. It also offers access to helpful EV resources and allows users to share their charging experiences at given locations with other EV owners. The developer says it has an active community of more than 100,000 participants.
This app finds the nearest available units within the ChargePoint network of over 52,000 charging spots, and also allows users to browse for stations from other major networks. Searches can be filtered to only show units that specifically work with a user’s vehicle. A driver can initiate and pay for charging with a tap and receive real-time updates regarding his or her vehicle’s status. The app can also be used to connect with and control a ChargePoint home charging station.
Working with multiple charging networks, Chargeway only shows available stations that work with a user’s particular vehicle, network, and preferred charging level. The app provides information on restaurants and shops near a selected station that owners can visit while their vehicles are charging. The app can estimate how log it will take to reach a full charge, and can plan a road trip, choosing the fastest way to get there with sufficient charging opportunities, and providing estimated charging times for each stop along the way. It even includes a weather tracking function.
The EVgo charging network boasts 1,050 DC fast chargers at 700 stations and its related app helps EV owners locate them and easily pay for the cost of charging. It provides real-time availability of nearby chargers, with turn-by-turn directions to a selected unit. Users can initiate a charge with a simple swipe of the phone, manage their accounts, and even contact customer service directly from the app.
As the name implies, this $0.99 app helps EV road warriors find and reserve rooms at hotels that offer charging facilities. Both free public chargers and those limited to hotel guests are noted, along with charger-port compatibility.
This EV app guides users to public charging locations around the world. Stations are searchable by area, network and the type of connection used. It details which locations require payment and which are currently in use, with user comments on and photos of each station. The app can also facilitate payment. It also includes a trip planner that can help plot a course to a given destination based around active charging spots.
This non-commercial, non-profit service is hosted and supported by a community of businesses, charities, developers, and other interested parties. It’s an extensive global search tool for finding charging stations. The service claims to maintain in its database nearly 136,000 units in over 67,500 locations. Public stations can be searched according to distance, location, and the charging network, and the app can be used to check the vehicle’s current charging level and status.
If you own a Tesla, you’ll certainly want to download the automaker’s app. It helps users find any of the 11,583 Tesla Supercharger fast-charging stations at 1,386 locations globally. Owners can use the app to monitor the process and get notifications when the vehicle reaches a full charge. The app also allows owners to unlock and start their vehicles via their phones, remotely vent the sunroof or switch on the climate control, and restrict access to the trunk and glove compartment when leaving the vehicle with a valet.
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