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EV Charging Apps – How it Works & Features (with Examples)

By: Taru M. Taru M.
14 Jun, 2022

A study done by Statista Mobility Market Outlook reveals that EV charging stations will generate revenue of around 1.54 million U.S. dollars by 2026. You can make life easy for EV drivers by developing EV Charging Apps and capitalizing on this growing market. An EV charging app facilitates drivers to find nearby EV charging stations, know the type of EV charger/connector a station supports, check how good they are, start/stop the charging, reserve the slot to save time, etc.

Before we move on, it is worth mentioning the impact of EV cars on our environment.

There is a 50% reduction in carbon emission with electric vehicles. CO2 emissions per gallon of gasoline are 25 pounds, whereas emissions for 10 KW hours of electricity are 12.2 pounds. Emissions are lowered further, down to 95%, when solar generates electricity.

In this blog, we will talk about features, working (specifically the communication protocol) and list some EV charging apps that are innovating in this space and making the whole process of charging your EV smooth and trouble-free.

Essential features of EV charging apps.

  • Accurate location of charging stations, their real-time availability status, and reviews.
  • Options to schedule, notify and remind. Recommending stations compatible with your electric car.
  • Smart payment options like one of the EV charging apps Chargemap rolled Chargemap Pass.
  • Create route plans that help improve the performance of batteries and EV drivers’ productivity.
  • Instantaneous charging status and tracking of battery usage.
  • The choice to reserve a charging slot.
  • Filters like charging speed, types of EV charger, favourites, etc., help drivers quickly select the right charging station. These little features cumulatively add to the performance and productivity of drivers.

The protocol for making charging stations affordable, flexible, and enhancing app usability.

The EVSE ( Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), part of the charging network, is the charging dock which provides electricity to the batteries for recharging. These are connected to an electricity grid and a CSMS. Some of the major charging networks are ChargePoint, EVgo, Elektromotive, Volta Charging, etc.

CSMS (Charging Station Management System) is the back-end that is the actual brain of any charging network. It allows monitoring and controlling charging loads, generating tariffs, and creating reports. On the user-interface side, it will enable locating the nearest charging station, reserving a charging dock, etc.

Now, certain EVSEs are locked in with the specific CSMS and network provider. Consequently, that network provider can raise fees anytime. If the hardware manufacturer halts its business, your whole charging station will stop as you cannot move to different hardware or software.

To solve this issue, an open-source protocol, OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol), was created in 2009 by Open Charge Alliance. It is an application protocol for communication between EVSE and back-end CSMS. The goal is to make any EV charger work with any management system. Currently, not all EV chargers and CSMS support this open-source protocol.

Actions performed by OCPP include:

  • Authorisation to start and stop the charging.
  • Reservation
  • Remotely manage devices, quite useful for large DC fast-charging stations.
  • Transaction handling.
  • Enhancing security for authentication and creating secure communication (TLS).
  • Display messages like tariffs, availability status, etc
  • Smart charging manages electricity load during peak and off-peak hours to improve energy consumption.
  • Firmware management
  • Data transfer between mobile apps, CSMS and charging docks.

Going for OCPP-compliant hardware and software introduces standardization, provides flexibility, lowers the cost, and on the whole, makes the EV ecosystem smooth, which then makes it more lucrative for people to run electric vehicles.

EV charging apps that are dominating the market.

PlugShare

Plugshare is a free EV charging app available for android, ios as well, as web. It helps users find charging stations and connect with other EV drivers.

Key features:

  • Globally covering various areas with 300,000+ charging stations, one can find 200,000+ of these in the USA and Canada.
  • Pay using PlugShare
  • Number of reviews = 4,200,000
  • Number of station photographs= 600,000.
  • Get turn-wise navigation directly to the stations you are in search of.
  • Watch and update station ratings, tips, and photos of various EV drivers
  • PlugScore ratings are available that will assist you in detecting the reliable station
  • You can turn on notifications to be alerted by nearby charging stations
  • You can increase the strength of the EV community by adding new EV charging stations.

Rating: 4.4
Size: 14 MB
Downloads: 1 million+

Chargemap

Chargemap is another community database comprising a collection of charging stations for EV drivers. One Chargemap Pass is sufficient for all stations. It works with zero subscription, and you pay for whatever you consume.

Key features:

  • Find your favourite charging stations with a user-friendly Chargemap.
  • The icons and colour-coded system on the charging pool map enable drivers to use the app intuitively.
  • Provides you with a route map so you can plan your road trip and make optimum use of available charging.
  • You can also benefit from all the features of Chargemap straightaway on your EV dashboard. How? Using the onboard systems Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • There is no need to pay multiple subscriptions with Chargemap Pass.

Rating: 3.3
Size: 9.6 MB
Downloads: 5,00,000+

EV Plugs

Ev plugs is another ios, android and a web-based app. It is a free and user-friendly application. According to the co-founder and chief executive of EV Plugs, there are 1000 charging stations across 60+ cities in India.

Key features:

  • EV plugs is India’s first EV app with the largest charging point network.
  • Efficient assistance to the drivers for choosing and finding their e-vehicle and EV charging points.
  • Easy click navigation to the selected location directed at the EV charging stations from the current site.
  • EV stations can be accessed with both Map view and List view.
  • There exists an option for users to save their favourite EV stations that they use frequently.
  • Planning your route with EV plugs can serve you with all the EV stations along a road trip route.
  • It has smart filters that let you see only the stations compatible with your specific vehicle. You can use the filters such as (filter by distance, charging speed, etc.).

Rating: 3.8
Size: 10 MB
Downloads: 10,000+

ChargePoint

The world’s leading EV charging network provider-ChargePoint has over 225,000 ports accessible by roaming globally and 163,000 activated ports. The ChargePoint app helps you find ChargePoint stations and many more stations from partner networks and allows you to check if they are available to start charging.

Key features:

  • Start and stop charging sessions directly on the app. Get real-time updates and notifications with ChargePoint on whether or not your vehicle is fully charged.
  • Is it empty or in use? Easy verification through the app to learn about the charging station availability.
  • You can quickly start charging by holding your phone with the station’s card reader.
  • Also, you can use it with Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, Apple Watch, Wear OS by Google and Android Auto.

Size: 31 MB
Downloads: 10,000+

EV Connect

EV Connect provides EV charging management software with quick response and cost-effective tools. As the name suggests, it connects utilities, businesses and organizations, charging stations, and drivers.

Key features:

  • On top of the payment ease, the app can help you track your charging history. It can help you adjust your expenses, get a better sense of commute costs, and save on your electric vehicle.
  • There is a 24/7 support line. If, at any time, a customer runs into a problem with the app/charging station/ finding stations to charge, they can call or connect through the app EV Connect will guide.
  • You can start a charging session using a QR code or entering a particular charging station ID. All payments are secure in this app.
  • You can make charging stations safe by reporting drivers who misuse them.

Size: 10 MB
Downloads: 10,000+

The right time to design a good EV charging app.

EV is the future. But EV chargers are unevenly distributed in the United States; currently, the US has about 37 ports for every 100,000 people. So, scaling the network of charging stations is quite crucial now.

People will need not only snappy EV apps to support charging stations, but they will demand it to be super intuitive and offer them comprehensive features. With the rise in IoT technology, we can further polish apps to facilitate more usability.

Connect with our mobile app development company to develop an excellent EV charging app.

Taru M. Author
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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