When you’re on a road trip in the US, you have access to more than 100,000 gas stations across the country — more than double the number of public charging stations you can charge an EV at.
Since it takes longer to charge an EV, you need to know exactly where to find EV chargers along your route. To do that, you need to use apps on your smartphone, so here are the best apps for EV route planning.
1. Tesla App
According to statisticTesla is the most popular EV brand in the world. If you drive a Tesla, you would be better suited to use the app for route planning. This is because the Tesla app gives you access to more than 35,000 Superchargers across the country – this is the largest network in North America.
If you live in Europe, the Tesla Supercharger network is also available to non-Tesla drivers, and similar plans are in the works in the US. This means you can create an account in the Tesla app even if you don’t drive a Tesla to access its Supercharger network.
But if you drive a Tesla, you have the privilege of requesting roadside assistance and scheduling service maintenance. Another great feature is tracking the location of your vehicle using the Tesla app. But if you don’t drive a Tesla, you can use other apps to track your car.
2. EV Hotels
If you want to sleep in a hotel and charge your vehicle overnight, the EV Hotels app can make it easier for you. The map shows thousands of hotels that offer EV charging stations along your route. It also lets you know what levels of chargers are available in the hotels: standard, fast DC or Superchargers.
If you can’t find a hotel with electric car chargers along your route, the app will recommend amenities with plenty of parking with chargers nearby. Subscribed members can pre-book a hotel room and recharge, and earn reward points at their favorite hotel brands across the country.
Here are a few other apps you could use to find cheap or free places to stay while traveling.
to download: EVHotels for iOS ($2.99)
3. A better route planner
A Better Route Planner (ABRP) is available in the Google Play Store and App Store – you can also install it in the web browser on your car dashboard. Unlike Tesla’s app, which is limited to its Supercharger network, A Better Route Planner covers all public EV chargers on your route. Better yet, you can link it to your Tesla account to share your driving data, which helps improve accuracy.
If you don’t drive a Tesla, you can include the details of your car model in the app to calculate your range, charging time and energy consumption. In addition, the ABRP app also tells you road conditions, wind, temperature, weather and routes to avoid – basically everything you need to know to plan your trip without any problems.
Otherwise, if you are in a hurry, you should know everything you need to know about electric car charging speeds.
PlugShare is one of the most popular EV route planning apps. Unlike most apps, you don’t need to register an account to find nearby public EV chargers. However, if you create an account, you can add your EV car model to accurately predict your range and charging time. The PlugShare app also tells you the compatible plugs for your EV in each charging station.
In addition, you can use the app to find amenities such as lodging, restaurants, Wi-Fi, shopping restroom, valet parking, shops, and groceries. The best part is that PlugShare app is free and covers almost all countries worldwide.
The downside is that the Plugshare app doesn’t let you know which chargers are busy. While there is a check-in option, most people don’t use it.
5. Charging point
If you hate driving to a station and a charger you thought was available is busy, the ChargePoint app can solve that problem. If a charging station is occupied, the app will let you know with a blue pin and if a charger is available, you will see a location with a green pin on the app.
Before using a charging station, the app allows you to calculate how much you will spend to charge your EV. The Charge Point app also lets you know the charging status of your EV and the estimated charging time.
We also like that you can integrate this app into your home charger so you can check your EV whenever you want. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your home EV ready.
6. Google Maps
While you can’t use Google Maps to estimate the range of your electric vehicle, it can tell you charging speeds and available ports in nearby charging stations. If you live in the US and UK, Google Maps provides real-time data on available charging stations so you don’t have to queue.
But what gives Google Maps an advantage over other EV routing apps is that it can show all the amenities along your route, from garages, restaurants and hotels to convenience stores. In addition, you can activate the Google Assistant Driving Mode with Google Maps. Here’s everything you need to know about using Driving Mode in Google Assistant.
Find the best EV route planning apps for you
If you’re planning a trip with your EV, it’s actually best to use these EV planning apps at the same time. Yes, you read that right. So, for example, if you want to find the most convenient hotels for charging EVs, it’s best to use Google Maps and EV Hotels.
But if you want a route planner that can accurately tell you everything about the health of your EV battery, then you should consider a better route planner and the Tesla app.
Likewise, the PlugShare app has one of the largest databases of public EV chargers in the world, and the Charge Point app indicates if a charging station is occupied. It’s up to you to find the most suitable app for your EV route planning.