Switching to an electric vehicle might mean that you find yourself relying on your smartphone a bit more than usual in order to find places to fuel up. No longer can you go to the petrol station around the corner or just off your exit on the highway. At first, you’ll have to be slightly more strategic about refueling, but with the help of apps that direct you to EV charging stations near you, you’ll find that adjusting is easy.
Most popular app for finding charging stations: PlugShare
PlugShare is one of the most well-known apps for finding EV charging stations around the world because it’s incredibly comprehensive. You can filter the map by plug type, including Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Chargers. But the best part is the community of EV users that updates different charging stations with detailed reviews, location descriptions, photos, and even nearby amenities like WiFi or public restrooms.
An oldie, but a goodie: Google Maps
At the time of writing this article, Google Maps doesn’t have all of the accoutrements of some of the top EV charge point apps. Users don’t often post photos of the location, in-depth reviews, or charge point availability, but Google Maps is still an excellent resource when you’re on the go. Especially if you have a car like the Polestar 2, which is integrated with Google’s apps and services that link customers to their Google accounts and Maps — in fact, all EV charging stations are integrated through Google Maps, which is built-in to in every Polestar 2, meaning you’ll never have to frantically search for a charging station again.
In some countries, Google Maps pulls data from other EV charging station apps, and knowing Google it won’t be long until its Maps offer as much information on each charging station as you need, so it’s a good move to purchase an EV like the Polestar 2 that has it all built-in.
Most innovative charging app: EVmatch
EVmatch also helps you find hundreds of EV charge points around the world, but its business model is slightly different. EVmatch offers users a peer-to-peer network, wherein you can find, reserve in advance, and pay for private electric car charging stations easily through the app. This means that in addition to public charging stations, you might be able to pay your neighbor or local business owner to use her private charge point, as well! Live in an apartment complex? See if your neighbors would be interested in having a charge point installed for use among tenants and the general public.
If you have a private charging station at your home, you can also get involved in the community and earn some extra money by renting out your charge point. EVmatch also allows you to filter by car charger connector type, as well as by charging speed, daily and hourly availability, instant booking, and price. Think of it as Airbnb for charging stations!
Most democratic charging app: Open Charge Map
Open Charge Map doesn’t come with a lot of the bells and whistles that other charging station apps have. You won’t necessarily find comments and reviews, but as its name suggests, it’s an open-source project to develop a source of charging station data for use of consumers and organizations. It’s hosted and supported by a community of businesses, charities, developers, and others.
This non-commercial, non-service It’s a pretty straightforward app, providing you with nearby addresses, the distance from your home, the business contact info if applicable, and your car’s current charging level and status. Open Charge Map claims to be the world’s largest open global registry of electric vehicle charging stations, and it encourages users to submit charge location details to help improve its database over nearly 136,000 units in over 67,500 locations.
Best app for the prospective EV owner: MyGreenCar
If you’re looking to buy an EV, you are likely doing so to decrease your environmental impact while also saving money in the long run. MyGreenCar offers you a virtual test drive, showing you how much money you’ll save with a greener car based on your driving habits and needs. The app automatically records your driving and compares your annual fuel costs, ownership costs, carbon emissions, fuel consumption, EV range, and charging needs against the cars that you’re interested in. So if your commute includes lots of start and stop traffic, the app records that. If you drive long distances, up and down hilly terrains, or if you’ve got a lead foot, MyGreenCar makes a note of that, as well!
You can also use the app to answer questions about driving range, whether a hybrid will pay off, and how your current car compares to others on the market.
Best site for EV info: Electric Vehicle Database
While EV Database isn’t an app you can find in the app store, it is an incredibly valuable resource for those who are interested in the world of electric vehicles. Whether you want to compare your EV to others, plan for your next car, or make suggestions to friends, this database is incredibly comprehensive.
You can filter for make, price point, body style, and availability. It’s important to note that the prices are estimated for specific countries and don’t include any direct incentives that local governments might offer for EV purchasers. However, pricing for the UK does include the “Plug-In Car Grant” direct incentive.
Visit the Electric Vehicle Database here.
This article is brought to you by Polestar