The essential guide to picking the best EV charging app: 'Say goodbye to range anxiety'

A person charging their electric vehicle

For most people, the best electric vehicle charge app is likely already either in your vehicle or on your smartphone. Navigation systems on modern electric cars offer the ability to search for charger locations near you.

Many EV automakers have apps of their own, which offer several convenient features for locating and paying for public chargers.

But these stations aren't always operating, so Edmunds recommends having a backup EV charger app to help you locate other chargers in the area — ultimately to help assuage potential range anxiety from an inconsistent charging infrastructure.

Our partners at Edmunds curated the best EV charging apps available, ranked in no particular order.

The Best EV Charging Apps

EV charge station locating apps

PlugShare

Finding a charging station is great. But what if it's broken, unreliable or in an inconvenient location?

That's where PlugShare comes in. It encourages user feedback, which can help narrow down which chargers you might want to use.

It can also prevent you from wasting time by going to a charger that hasn't been operable for some time.

Think of this app like Yelp for electric vehicle chargers.

PlugShare provides a wealth of information on chargers across North America. It also has a trip planner tool, which allows you to input your vehicle, its maximum range and its starting range.

The route planner is useful, and it provides a handful of options and filters but it's not as detailed as either EV Navigation or A Better Route Planner. That said, the all-in-one combination of routing and reviews of the chargers you'll stop at can come in handy.

You won't use the following applications to map out your road trip route, but they can be extremely useful for finding EV chargers and using them once you get there. These apps make payment easier and can offer discounted rates for members.

EV automaker charging apps

Tesla

Tesla's app allows you to find and use its Supercharger stations around the country. Once your account is set up, the billing is handled automatically.

For now, most Superchargers are exclusively for Tesla owners, but that is set to change in the coming months as the automaker opens its service to all EV owners.

The app also allows you to monitor the progress of charging, see what the costs are in real time, and get notified when the charging is complete.

Rivian

The Rivian app not only shows you its own "Adventure Network" series of DC fast chargers, but it also shows the locations of Tesla and other third-party chargers.

Directions to a charger can be programmed in either the app or in the vehicle's navigation system. The benefit of going to a Rivian-branded charger is that you don't need an additional app to pay for the charge session.

The Rivian app also offers the same charge progress tracking and notifications to give you all the details on your charge session.

Lucid

Lucid has a partnership with Electrify America, whose charge stations will appear in search results within the app, in addition to those from Tesla and other third-party charger companies. Lucid drivers can send directions to the vehicle to begin navigation the moment they get inside the car.

When an Electrify America station is selected, you can plug in and pay for the session without needing an additional app.

Charge stations from other brands can still be navigated to, but you'll need a credit card or additional app to pay for them.

Like Tesla and Rivian, Lucid's app will track the progress of a charge session and notify you when it is complete.

Third-party charge station apps

ChargePoint

It's the largest charging network in the United States, though the vast majority of its stations have Level 2 chargers. You can locate, check prices and pay for charging all within the app.

EVgo

It has fewer stations than ChargePoint and Tesla, but they offer almost exclusively fast charging. EVgo's app has many of the same features as other charge apps (station locator, pricing and payment), but one key difference is that the company offers rewards for members, which can be redeemed later for charge credits.

If you will be using public chargers often and there's an EVgo station near you, it's worth looking into the company's paid monthly plans, which EVgo says can save users up to 30% a month in charge fees.

Electrify America

EA is one of the largest third-party charge station companies in the country. Like EVgo, EA specializes in fast charging stations.

Electrify America has partnered with several auto manufacturers, such as Volkswagen and Ford, to provide a certain amount of free charging when you buy one of their vehicles.

This may help sway your purchase decision if you have EA chargers near you.

There are more EV charging apps out there from smaller companies that are also worth looking into.

If you notice a certain charger brand pop up in several locations near you, there's a good chance it has an app, which might provide some savings or help you locate more stations.

This article was originally published by Stacker and was republished with permission.

Header image by 24K-Production / Shutterstock

Article Details

June 19, 2024 10:58 AM
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