Own an EV but can’t charge at home, or need more than one charging location? Some new EV buyers fear they won’t be able to find a charger on the go, but apps and maps abound to help EV drivers find chargers away from home.
Over 80% of EV drivers usually charge at home, but that’s not always an option. For home owners, charging at home is as simple as installing the Level 1 charger that comes with your car or purchasing a faster one, like the Level 2 HQ 100. For those who live in apartments or condos, the situation can be trickier, since not all buildings feature EVSE. Many new builds however are soon to be required to include EVSE in their designs. Finding chargers is toughest for those who have to park on the street, and studies show less than half of Americans have a dedicated parking spot in a garage.
So, what do you do if you want to own an EV but don’t have your own charger? Take advantage of the many services that take the guesswork and range anxiety out of finding a charger.
Helping Drivers Find Chargers and More
One of the most popular apps is PlugShare, which features an interactive map of their charging locations. Hover over a tan icon in your area to see the exact address, or put in your address to find the closest charger. The app can be easily downloaded from Apple Apps or Google Play.
ChargeHub is a free mobile app that features all chargers in North America, with daily updates on details like closures and operating hours. Also available from Apple Apps and Google Play, Charge Hub allows users to create maps to plan ahead for longer journeys and to request another driver, whose car is already charged, to unplug.
Google Maps also offers a service to find nearby charging stations. Simply search “ev charging stations” in the Google Maps search bar to find chargers from networks like Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect, and more. Google maps knows how much of a drag it is to find a charging station, only to find all the ports being used, and be forced to wait minutes or hours to charge your car. Google Maps tells drivers if there are ports immediately available at your choice of charger, and if not, the closest charger you can use right away.
Apple Maps features the ability to find nearby chargers with an interactive map of charger locations. It features all the services of other apps, but its coolest feature is unique to Apple; input your destination in the app and it will keep track of elevation and weather, predict range loss, and add stops if necessary to your itinerary. Easy instructions for installing information about your car into Apple Maps can help it predict your vehicle’s needs before they happen.
Blink features our own EV app. The mobile app highlights nearby charging stations, lets you know far away you are from the closest stations, and tells you how busy the station is. Wonder about your charging status? How far you usually drive with a single charge? The Blink app provides that information and more.
Start a Blink charger from the road so you can pull right in the spot and be ready to go, or get a Blink Code to start the charger as soon as you pull up. Use our mobile app to pay and add more funds to your account easily.
Are you a business choosing a network for your own chargers? You may have the only charger in the area, but it won’t do you any good if no one knows about it. A networked system will feature your charger on sites EV drivers use to find charging stations, such as those listed above. Being featured on google maps as a charging station is indispensable for those who want to advertise their EVSE. It’s also a great way to attract and keep new customers who drive EVs. With the Blink Network, businesses can promote their EV charging station location to drivers via interactive maps and mobile applications.
Thanks to apps designed to help EV drivers find chargers, build travel itineraries, find wait times, and even pay for charging ahead of time, everyone can find the right charging station.