As cars get more connected, there are more opportunities for cars and car services to integrate with software. EVs are leading the way on this front. With EVs, there are many apps that can enhance or streamline the ownership experience. Here are a few of our favorites. (We're sharing these apps because we like them and use them ourselves, we are not affiliated or receiving any benefit to share or advertise!)
Most vehicles these days, especially EVs, offer an app. Sometimes this app can serve as your car's key, unlocking and starting the car via bluetooth, and controlling other functions like locks, windows and charge status from wherever you are. This one is borderline essential, and you'll likely be prompted to download it before you drive off the dealer lot.
We covered the major charging networks in a previous lesson, and it may be a good idea to download the apps for each network that is relevant to you (meaning, they operate charging stations in your area or along the long distance routes that you might travel). Downloading these apps in advance can help save you time and hassle later, and some networks will send you physical membership cards that you can simply scan at the plug, making the whole process a lot easier.
PlugShare will help you find charging stations in whatever area you're in. This app shows you ALL plugs - that includes all plug types, all networks, even private chargers with restricted access. You can filter by compatibility with your car, by cost, by charge speed, by distance - and you can see a rating given to that charger by PlugShare users along with photos and comments about that station. PlugShare can also tell you if a charging station is broken or currently in use, and has tools to plan charging stops into your trip as well. Cost: FREE
ChargeHub is another tool to find charging stations, and like PlugShare allows you to filter your search results by type of plug, charger speed, network, free locations and you can choose locations near certain amenities like hotels. ChargeHub will also allow you to plan your route, entering a starting location and a destination with all compatible plugs along the way. Cost: FREE
A Better Route Planner is an app that helps you map your GPS route with charging stops included, using highly specific variables for more accurate calculations. With A Better Route Planner, you can specify your car type, battery size, the amount of energy you're leaving with, departure time, and filter by amenities you want near each charging station like food or lodging. This app is especially helpful if you want to plan with a higher degree of accuracy and your car doesn't incorporate charging stops automatically.