If you’re on a road trip in the U.S., you can access over 100,000 gas stations across the country—more than double the number of public charging stations you can charge an EV.
Because charging an EV takes longer, you should 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 Statista, Tesla is the most popular EV brand in the world. If you drive a Tesla, you would be better suited to use its app for route planning. This is because the Tesla app gives you access to over 35,000 Superchargers across the country—this is the biggest network in North America.
If you live in Europe, the Tesla Supercharger network is also available for non-Tesla drivers, and similar plans are underway in the U.S. This means that you can set up an account on the Tesla app even if you don’t drive a Tesla to access its Supercharger network.
But if you’re driving a Tesla, you have the privilege to request roadside assistance and schedule service maintenance. Another cool feature is tracking your vehicle’s location using the Tesla app. But if you don’t drive a Tesla, you could use other apps to track your car.
2. EV Hotels
If you want to sleep at a hotel and charge your vehicle overnight, the EV Hotels app can make it easier for you. Its map displays thousands of hotels that offer EV charging stations along your route. It also lets you know which levels of chargers are available in the hotels: standard, fast DC, or Superchargers.
If you can’t find a hotel with EV chargers along your route, the app will recommend amenities with ample parking with chargers nearby. Subscribed members can reserve a hotel room and charging spot in advance and garner reward points in their favorite hotel brands across the country.
Here are a few other apps that you could use to find cheap or free places to stay while traveling.
Download: EVHotels for iOS ($2.99)
3. A Better Route Planner
A Better Route Planner (ABRP) is available on Google Play Store and App Store—you can also install it on your car’s dashboard screen web browser. Unlike Tesla’s app, which is limited to its Supercharger network, A Better Route Planner covers all the public EV chargers on your route. Better yet, you can connect it to your Tesla account to share your driving data, which helps to improve accuracy.
If you’re not driving a Tesla, you can include your car model details on the app to calculate your range, charging time, and energy consumption. Beyond that, the ABRP app also tells you the road conditions, wind, temperature, weather, and routes to avoid—basically, everything you need to know to plan your trip without any hiccups.
Otherwise, if you’re in a hurry, you need to 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’re not required to register an account to find nearby public EV chargers. However, if you set up an account, you can include your EV car model to predict your range and charging time accurately. The PlugShare app will also tell you the compatible plugs for your EV in each charging station.
What’s more, you can use the app to locate amenities with lodging, dining, Wi-Fi, shopping restroom, valet, shopping, and groceries. The best part is that the PlugShare app is free and covers almost all countries worldwide.
On the downside, the Plugshare app doesn’t let you know which chargers are occupied. Even though there is an option to check in, most people don’t use it.
5. Charge Point
If you hate driving to a station and finding a charger you thought was available is occupied, the ChargePoint app can solve that problem. If a charging station is busy, the app will notify you using 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, you can calculate how much you will spend to charge your EV through the app. Also, the Charge Point app 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 that you can monitor your EV anytime you want. Here is everything you need to know about how to make your home EV ready.
6. Google Maps
Even though you can’t use Google Maps to estimate the range of your electric vehicle, it can tell you the charging speeds and available ports in nearby charging stations. If you’re living in the U.S. and U.K, Google Maps will provide real-time data on available charging stations, so you don’t have to line up.
But what gives Google Maps an advantage over other apps for EV routing is that it can show all the amenities along your route—from garages, restaurants, and hotels to convenience stores. In addition to that, you can activate Google Assistant Driving Mode using Google Maps. Here is everything you need to know about how to use driving mode in Google Assistant.
Find the Best EV Route Planning Apps to Suit You
If you’re planning a trip in your EV, it’s actually best to use these EV planning apps simultaneously. Yes, you read that right. So, for instance, if you want to find the most convenient hotels for charging EVs, your best option would be Google Maps and EV Hotels.
But if you want a route planner that can accurately tell you everything about your EV battery’s status, you should consider A Better Route Planner and the Tesla app.
Similarly, the PlugShare app has one of the largest databases of public EV chargers in the world, and the Charge Point app will tell you if a charging station is busy. It’s up to you to find the most suitable app for your EV route planning.