Are you preparing to purchase an electric vehicle soon, but are worried you might not be able to find a charging station while on a long trip? Don’t let that stop you: today, we’re going to cover how to find an EV charger on the road. Let’s start with an app almost everyone knows: Google Maps.
The easiest way to find an EV charger on the road is with Google Maps. Google’s mapping efforts are probably the strongest nationwide, with updated Street Views (along with historical data) within the app.
This also means that Google Maps maintains an extensive, and frequently updated, database of how to find an EV charger on the road.
While we could have simply said “map apps” in our previous section, we’re specifically highlighting Apple Maps today for two reasons. First, it’s the default map app within all iOS devices, and probably the primary app for (quite literally) millions of consumers.
Based on a very quick comparison between Google and Apple, the former is more likely to cover rural areas more efficiently. Apple dedicates its mapping efforts to the big cities, and in our quick spot check, missed a newer charger station in a nearby smaller town.
We bring it up to say that, if you find yourself in a rural area with no nearby chargers, don’t take Apple’s word as gospel. There’s a chance Google Maps may be able to show you a charging station Apple has missed.
Both of the two already mentioned mapping maps are an easy way to find an EV charger on the road. However, what if the station you’re planning to use is down, and it’s the only one in the area?
We recognize that this is unlikely, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Enter PlugShare, a user-generated app where EV drivers can let others know about down EV charging stations. Think of it as GasBuddy for EV owners. For a quick example, Apple Maps simply listed a single charging station at one of our branch Ohio State locations. PlugShare showed a second on campus location, while also alerting us that one of the two stations was out of order.
Unlike GasBuddy, PlugShare does not have data on the cost of charging. This brings us to another way to find an EV charger on the road.
Your vehicle’s native navigation system
Like all modern car models, electric vehicles have in-dash navigation systems. Some of these are proprietary systems, others use third-party integrations. Often, they can help you find the closest charging station that is optimal for your vehicle brand. Some, such as FordPass, can give you the cost of charging your EV directly in the app.
Of note: for most systems, using Apple CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto replaces your in dash system. A significant exception is Tesla, which does not support either.
Helping to expand our region’s charging footprint
Of course, EV charging locations are far less common than gas stations. It’s going to take time to build out the network, which is one of the reasons why we’re so passionate about EV charging stations. Our team can install a Level 1 or Level 2 charger at your home or business.
Just let us know you’re interested in having one on your property by sending us a message here or calling us directly at (614) 412-2185.