Remember the 1982 “Electric Avenue” song by Eddy Grant? Hopefully, you’ve heard it, or I just wasted a perfectly bad pun in my blog title.
And, if you’re not quite old enough to remember that song when it came out, maybe you recall the Electric Avenue that showed up in an ad for Montgomery Ward. For all you Millennials and younger generations, that was what “high-tech” looked like in the early 90s. But I digress…
We’re rocking down to electric app-enue for one primary reason. If there’s one thing you learn quickly after purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle (EV), it’s that mobile apps are a critical component of EV driving. In fact, you can choose from a wide range of EV-specific mobile apps to help make charging, route planning, and driving optimization much easier and more convenient. Here’s a look at some of the top apps I’m using.
EV Charging apps
Finding public charging stations and planning for longer trips is a lot easier with ev driver apps like PlugShare, ChargeHub, and ChargePoint. Each lets you map nearby charging stations, check real-time status, and filter by charger type and network. That helps take the guesswork out of charger availability so you can confidently get around. Popular navigation apps such as Google Maps and Apple Maps also now include EV charging locations.
Another handy app is Chargeway, which simplifies the different charging connectors with easy-to-understand color codes and graphics. No more confusion over charging formats like CCS, CHAdeMO, and J1772. Apps like EVmatch go a step further by allowing you to reserve charging stations ahead of time at select locations. I personally detest lines and waiting, which is why a reservation service for charging my EV is extremely appealing to me. Think of it as the OpenTable of charging apps!
Utility company apps like Pacific Power Energy Tracker can help you monitor your home EV charging usage and cost. You can see how your charging habits impact your energy bill while receiving customized alerts and tips. Some apps even allow you to schedule your EV charging session to take advantage of lower off-peak electricity rates.
Your interest in these types of apps will obviously depend on what brand of EV you drive. Apps from EV makers like Audi, Tesla, and Nissan provide connected features directly through your car’s infotainment system. You can monitor your charge status, heating and cooling, and other items right from your phone. You can even track your driving efficiency, trip data, and service reminders. I’d recommend “test driving” a few automaker apps to get a better feel for what’s possible before you ever actually test drive a vehicle. The Audi app I use for my EV has some great features—including a mobile unlock feature, which has proved useful more times than I’d care to admit.
EV news and reviews
If you’re looking to stay up to date on the latest EV news, models, and tech innovations, start with web sites or EV driver apps like:
- Electric Vehicle World
- Charged Electric Vehicles Magazine
These apps allow you to easily access EV-focused news, reviews, analysis, and commentary from leading outlets. You can read up on battery tech breakthroughs, new model unveilings, policy impacts, charging infrastructure growth, and more.
The more info, the better
As I’m writing this EV blog series, I especially like to watch product review videos and get insider industry analysis on key topics shaping the EV future—everything from charging networks to government regulations. Subscribing to a diverse set of EV news sources helps you get a comprehensive perspective on the major stories impacting the world of sustainable electric transportation.
There’s also this news outlet, this modest little blog where you can get practical EV advice from someone who knows very little about automobiles in general and who’s literally learning EV driving by the seat of my pants. Electric pants! (Now, I want actual electric pants, but that probably offsets the well-intentioned efforts of my EV driving.)
At the end of the day, the sheer variety of EV mobile apps is smoothing my transition to electric driving and making EV life much easier. Going electric opens up a whole new world—and high-tech convenience at your fingertips with mobile apps is a huge part of that experience.
If you want to learn more, please check out the other posts from my EV blog series.
EV and Convenience
Learn more about EV and convenience with new resources in the EV Hub.