Driving an electric vehicle, or EV, has plenty of advantages, from being more environmentally friendly to the potential to save money on fuel.
But they’re not without their challenges; finding somewhere to charge your car can be tricky, especially on long journeys.
So, if you buy a electric car, you’ll find you soon come to rely on a handful of choice apps to help you locate charge points, pay for electricity and plan the most efficient routes.
Here are five of the best, as ranked by user ratings.
Google Play rating: 4.6 stars
PlugShare claims to be the world’s largest EV driver community. Drivers contribute charging station reviews and photos to help each other make decisions about where to charge their vehicles.
You can use the app to find public charging stations compatible with your EV; filter for connector type, charging speed, and amenities like food or bathrooms; check for station functionality and current availability; link to a navigation app for directions to your selected charger; and more.
Users say*: “It’s a lifesaver for finding non-Tesla chargers”; “trips function of the app is great.”
Google Play rating: 4.5 stars
Designed for both Octopus customers are other EV drivers, this app will enable you to discover electric charging stations near you (including real-time information on charging cost and availability), view your charging history and track your carbon savings and more.
By adding your EV you can access the route mapper (which will calculate your journey based on EV's battery capacity), and automatically filter out charge points with irrelevant charging connector types.
Users like: “very fast to load, easy to use”; “excellent service.”
Visit: Octopus Electroverse
Google Play rating: 4.4 stars
With the ChargePoint app, you can find ChargePoint charging stations, as well as charging points offered by other providers, and see if they’re available before you arrive.
Other features include ‘driver tips’ which enables you to get helpful advice from other drivers about charging at a particular station.
Users like: “easy to set up account and app”; “real time updates”
Google Play rating: 4.2 stars
Describing itself as the UK’s No.1 EV mapping service, Zap Map lets you locate charge points - from both the major networks and smaller providers - plan your journey and share updates with other EV drivers.
It has more than 22,000 locations, 37,000 devices and 62,000 connectors mapped.
Users like: “clear to read, easy to use”; “integration into Android Auto”
Apple App Store rating: 4.8 stars
Optiwatt is all about saving money when charging your electric car, and reducing your emissions.
The app tracks enables you to visualize costs and battery efficiency statistics for every charge. You can set it so it automatically schedules your EV to charge during the cheapest energy rates.
Users like: “additional options that you can select that say the app will only allow the car to charge when your power grid is using clean electricity and/or when electricity is at the cheapest rate.”
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* Sources for all user comments: Google Play Store and Apple App Store reviews, as of 20th February 2023