Whether you’re thinking of getting an Electric Vehicle or have had one for years, it’s important to know exactly where you may be able to charge. Perhaps you charge at home but want to take a road trip, or perhaps you want an EV but have no option for at-home charging. There are several apps and websites for that. Some are dedicated to finding chargers while others help plan trip routes.
1. PlugShare Perhaps the most recognizable name in the game, PlugShare is parent company Recargo’s popular app boasting over 300,000 driver contributed photos and 1.5 million crowd-sourced reviews. PlugShare has a database of over 125,000 charging stations in the US and Canada and allows users to filter for their desire type of charging or charging network. Additional features including trip planning and the ability to pay for some charging stations right in the app have been added over time.
2. ChargePoint The maker of actual charging stations, ChargePoint also has an app to help with both charging on the go on their extensive public network or managing your home charger. ChargePoint calls itself the world’s largest and most open EV charging network, with 99,500 places to charge around the world.
3. EVgo Specializing in fast, direct current (DC) chargers, also known as Level 3 charging, EVgo has an app to point you toward their large network of public chargers. In the Apple App Store, EVgo has a 4 star rating, with special kudos given to improvements over the years.
4. NEXTCHARGE This app seeks to consolidate the ability to pay for the use of various charging networks with one consolidated approach. NEXTCHARGE helps you find charging stations and pay for them, using either the NEXTCHARGE app or a physical RFID card. The main idea here is that if you find yourself in need of a charge but don’t already have an account with the operator of the nearest charging station, you can still use and pay for it.
5. Electrify America Born from a court settlement following Volkswagen’s “dieslegate” emissions scandal, Electrify America is VW’s charging network division. The division plans to invest $2 billion in ZEV infrastructure over a 10 year period, with $300 million of that being invested in their first cycle. This cycle included a nationwide highway fast charging network and community charging network expected to cost a combined $250 million. This year, Electrify America launched a mobile app aimed at helping to find those stations and track charging progress.
6. EV Trip Planner The website EVTripPlanner was launched in the early days of the Tesla supercharger network by a self described “tech wiz kid” when he was still in high school. He was joined by his father and sister in the endeavor and still maintains the website today. When launched, it provided Tesla drivers a way to plan a trip on the supercharger network before the company upgraded its in-car navigation to allow for route planning. Today, the website still allows you to choose your exact Tesla model to get ultra-customized route energy data.
7. A Better Route Planner This comprehensive route planning tool allows you to select from an extensive range of electric vehicles. The web interface is easy, clutter free, and gives you all of the information you’d want to see at a glance graphically. Here, I mapped the drive from Philadelphia, PA to Wilkes-Barre, PA in a BMW i3. Pennsylvania is not known for an abundance of public chargers but here you can clearly see that with a little extra time, the trip is doable by heading through our neighboring state.
Which app(s) have you used? Share in the comments!