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18 best apps for electric car owners

18 best apps for electric car owners

Make driving your EV even easier!
9 min read
Summary
  • Apps are an integral part of driving an electric car, as they help you plan routes, find charging points, and pay for EV energy.
  • Most EV apps are free to download from the app store, though some offer premium features which you’ll need to pay for.
  • We’ve indicated which apps support Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto, as these offer hands-free features that make them safer to use while you’re driving.

Electric cars are the future — so there’s a growing number of apps available to make driving an electric vehicle as easy as possible.

From locating charge points to planning the most efficient route, we’ve rounded up the best apps for electric car owners so you can take them for a test drive and see which ones work for you.

Best EV charging apps

Finding and using charge points is one of the biggest shifts from driving a non-electric vehicle. Each of these apps is designed to help you locate charging stations around the UK, and pay to charge your car.

1. PlugShare

PlugShare screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.7
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

PlugShare is one of the highest rated EV charging apps — and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. The map shows you EV charging points around the world, so whether you’re looking for a local charging station or somewhere further afield, it’s easy to find and plans your charging stops.

PlugShare’s enhanced filtering options also make it easy to find a compatible charge point for your vehicle. So if you’re a car subscription user who regularly changes your electric vehicle, you can always find a station that works for your new car. You can also filter by in-use stations and locations that require payment. The Pay with PlugShare feature also allows you to pay in the app when you use compatible charging stations.

2. Zap-Map

Zap-Map screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free (Plus and Premium subscriptions available at £4.99 or £7.99 per month)
  • App store rating: 4.6
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto (with Premium)

Zap-Map has three plans to choose from — but even the free version gives you all the basic information you need as an EV owner. Find public charge points, view and filter by vital information like payment type, network and connector, and use Zap-pay to pay for charging.

However, the paid subscriptions do add value. You can manage multiple EVs (ideal if you have more than one, or you often change your car) and upgrade to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay integration. This makes it a lot easier and safer to find charge points when you’re already on the road.

3. ChargePoint

ChargePoint screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.5
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

ChargePoint’s locator map highlights more than 100,000 charging stations around the world. As well as standard features like filters and reviews, this app also offers estimated pricing for specific charging stations, which can help you find cheaper rates in your area.

If a station is in the ChargePoint network, you can pay via the app. However, around half of the charging stations in the UK (including most Scottish stations) are currently outside this network, so you may need a secondary payment method if you’re using this app.

ChargePoint provides charging stations themselves, as well as a locator app — so it’s also an option for businesses or fleets looking for charging point installation. You can check out our interactive map of EV charging stations!

4. Chargemap

Chargemap screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.4
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Chargemap has a huge network, boasting more than 450,000 charging points across Europe. While its UK network is more limited than other options on this list, it’s ideal for drivers who regularly cross the channel in their EV.

With its modern interface and simple key, Chargemap is also one of the most user-friendly EV charging apps on the market. It includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration (as well as all its other features) as standard — there’s no paid subscription required.

However, rather than making payments in the app, you’ll need to order a separate payment card (known as a Chargemap Pass). While there’s no subscription fee, there’s a one-off payment of €19.90 (approximately £16.85) for the card. This system is a little more awkward than some of the other apps on the list, but it may be worth it if you regularly drive your electric car on the continent.

5. BP Pulse

BG Pulse screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free (subscription available at £7.85 per month)
  • App store rating: 4.4
  • Supports: No in-car app support

BP Pulse have recently released a new Chargemaster app to replace their previous Polar app — and it comes with lots of new features, including the ability to charge via the app (if you’re a subscription member). Subscription members also get free access to many BP charge points. Free members pay a slightly higher kWh tariff than subscription members (currently 18p/kWh vs 12p/kWh).

The BP app is also highly intuitive and user-friendly; you can top-up your credit to make payments within the app, and explore more than 8,000 charging points across the UK.

Remember, you should check out our EV energy tariffs page which is constantly being updated with the UK's latest home charging energy tariffs.

Best EV parking apps

While parking isn’t too different in an electric car, it’s useful for any driver to have a parking app on-hand. You can find secure, affordable, accessible parking spaces (including those with charging stations nearby) and pay to park from your phone. Here are 5 of the best parking apps for EV owners.

1. RingGo Parking

RingGo Parking screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.8
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

RingGo is the only major car parking app that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, making it one of the most convenient parking apps available. Find an available parking spot when you’re almost at your destination for simple, painless parking. Plus, it’s really easy to extend your parking time within the app if you need to.

RingGo also allows you to search for car parks or spaces with charging points. You can use this information in conjunction with an EV charging app from the list above to check compatibility and price.

2. JustPark

JustPark screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.8
  • Supports: No in-car app support

As well as helping drivers find parking spaces, the JustPark app also allows you to rent out your EV charging station if you have one at home. It’s an innovative way for EV owners to generate a little extra cash — you can set your own price. As more charging points become available, more drivers may turn to electric vehicles, creating a more sustainable industry.

JustPark claims to save drivers 30% when you book in advance compared with ad hoc parking — so it’s a great way to save money and make parking easy and convenient.

3. Parkopedia

Parkopedia screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free (premium version available for £4.99)
  • App store rating: 4.6
  • Supports: No in-car app support

With the Parkopedia app, you can find and book parking close to your destination. Retrieve your booking within the app and show it when you arrive for stress-free parking. You can also filter by spaces or car parks with EV charging points, making it another great choice for EV owners.

Parkopedia doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration, and you’ll need a premium account to make use of some of its best features. This includes booking a space in advance, and using in-app navigation. However, these features — especially pre-booking — are really useful to prevent a frantic hunt for a space, so it may be worth spending the £4.99 for this added convenience.

4. The AA

The AA app screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.8
  • Supports: No in-car app support

Like other parking apps, the AA app shows you available parking spaces near your destination, as well as electric charging point availability. But this app has way more functionality than just parking. You can get breakdown support, plan routes, and even find a great place to have lunch on a long journey.

If you’re looking for an all-purpose car support app that has lots of general functionality rather than specific EV support, you can’t go wrong with the AA app. Please note that this app doesn’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, so make sure you only use it when you’re safely parked.

5. AppyParking

ApplyParking screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.6
  • Supports: No in-car app support

While it doesn’t offer many EV-specific features, the AppyParking app differs from other parking apps by helping you find free, available on-street parking, as well as designated spaces and car parks. While on-street parking is often less secure than off-street parking, it’s often free and has no restrictions — so it’s a great way to save a little money.

With AppyParking’s Smart City Parking, you can even find on-street parking in real-time — simply drive to your destination and park up in the most convenient space for you.

Best EV navigation and travel apps

Make any drive stress-free with these navigation and route planning apps for electric vehicles. 

1. A Better Routeplanner (ABRP)

A Better Routeplanner screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free (Premium subscription available at €5/£4.24 per month)
  • App store rating: 3.1
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto (with Premium)

ABRP is a navigation app that specialises in journey planning for electric vehicles. By entering your vehicle type, starting state of charge, and charging stop frequency, it can calculate where you should stop to charge your car, and how long it will take. This helps you get the most out of your charge — and your journey time.

The premium version of ABRP adds some useful features, such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, real-time traffic reporting, and vehicle data sharing. However, you’ll get all the basic features you need for a genuinely valuable EV app in the free version, so it’s not vital to upgrade.

2. Google Maps

Google Maps screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.7
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Google Maps is arguably the gold standard in navigation apps for non-EV drivers. With data-driven maps and increased community updates for real-time route information, Google Maps is a popular choice with many drivers — not to mention walkers, cyclists, and public transport users.

Google has recently developed a number of features to improve Maps for EV drivers, especially if it’s built into your car. Google Maps will show you your battery level when you arrive at your destination, helping you plan future journeys. It will also prompt you to add a charging stop if it detects that you’re unlikely to make it to your destination without charging up your car. These intuitive features can make a big difference, especially for new electric car owners.

3. WattsUp

WattsUp screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 3.4
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay

Like ABRP, Wattsup is designed to help EV drivers plan a journey around charging points to help you arrive efficiently and on time. It doesn’t offer the precise calculations of ABRP, as it doesn’t store vehicle information or work out charging points based on your current charge level.

However, the app offers real-time updates about charging point availability, so it can be helpful if you need to find a back-up charging point quickly. If a charger becomes unavailable, you can easily locate a compatible alternative. WattsUp works with Apple CarPlay, but isn’t yet available for Android Auto, so Google users may wish to use an alternative until this becomes available.

4. Waze

Waze screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.9
  • Supports: Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Waze is popular with non-EV and EV drivers alike, thanks to its ease of use and community-driven data. Drivers share information about traffic, road conditions, incidents, speed cameras, and other useful navigational updates that can help you avoid lengthy traffic jams.

Waze supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — but if you’re a Tesla driver, there’s even more good news. A dedicated Tesla Waze website allows you to use Waze on your Tesla screen, so you can take advantage of the millions of community updates that make Waze one of the most popular navigation apps for drivers.

5. EV Hotels

EV hotels screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 3.9
  • Supports: No in-car app support

The EV Hotels app is designed to help drivers find hotels that have charging points for your car. With 250,000 registered hotels worldwide, it’s a really useful app for anyone who’s always on the road. It puts a stop to service station snoozes, helping drivers find a hotel where they can recharge alongside their vehicle.

You can set your favourite hotel brands, so the app searches for chargers at or near these hotel chains as a priority. The EV Hotels app is currently only available on Apple devices, so Android users will need to wait until a Google-compatible version is released.

Other useful electric vehicle apps

As EVs become more popular, there are tons of apps on the market that you didn’t even know you needed. Check out more of the best apps for electric car owners below.

1. Optiwatt

Optiwatt screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.8
  • Supports: No in-car app support

Optiwatt is designed to help you save money when charging your electric car. The app automatically schedules charging when electricity rates are lowest — usually during off-peak hours — so you can make sure your car is fully charged at the cheapest possible price.

Using Optiwatt, you can optimise your charging schedule for time and price, by setting planned departure times and ideal battery levels. Optiwatt will even use this information to precondition your car, warming it up before you set off to avoid the adverse effects of cold weather on your EV battery. 

If you’re looking for an app to help you get the most out of your EV, Optiwatt is definitely one to try.

2. Caura

Caura screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 4.8
  • Supports: No in-car app support

No matter what type of car you drive, there’s always admin to be done to make sure your car is roadworthy. Caura is designed to streamline the driving paperwork process, offering a single place where you can manage your car insurance, tax, MOTs, and even congestion charges.

While EV-specific features are limited, Caura is a great way for any driver to manage the admin that comes with car ownership. Even if your insurance and servicing is sorted through your car subscription provider, Caura can be used to pay when you enter a clean air zone or use a toll road.

3. EV8 Switch

EV8 Switch screenshot and logo.
  • Cost: Free
  • App store rating: 3.1
  • Supports: No in-car app support

If you’re considering switching to an electric car, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you, the EV8 Switch app is designed to help you decide. EV8 Switch will compare your current car and driving habits with a similar electric vehicle, analysing your journeys to see if switching to an EV could actually save you money — while also saving the environment.

Whether you’re worried about the cost or practicalities of driving an EV, EV8 Switch helps you discover if switching to an electric car is right for you. It offers electric car recommendations based on your budget and driving habits, as well as charge point locations close to your regular driving routes.

If you’re not ready to commit to an EV just yet, use the EV8 Switch app to get a more accurate picture of what it’s like to drive an electric car.

Find an electric car on subscription

Car subscriptions are a great way to trial an electric car if you’re not ready to buy just yet. We specialise in providing you with all the information you need to find a great car subscription deal.

Test drive a Tesla or explore an Audi e-tron with a low-commitment electric car subscription. Find out everything you need to know about getting an electric car on subscription in our impartial advice hub.

Browse all cars available on subscription

There are hundreds of cars available via UK subscription companies.

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