The smartphone as a constant companion in all situations is now part of everyday life. Using the smartphone as a navigation device or aid in the car has certainly not been a big issue for drivers of electric cars, as they can display available charging stations on a map with their built-in navigation system. However, some built-in navigation devices do not offer the desired information with regard to the charging infrastructure. In the meantime, however, there is a good reason for drivers of electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids to use the smartphone for this purpose as well. In order to have all possible charging options displayed in the city or while driving an electric car, nothing more needs to be done than installing a simple app on the mobile device. But there is a large selection of providers here - and not all apps for charging infrastructure are equally good. We have examined and presented the five best charging infrastructure apps from our point of view.
The most important functions
Probably the most important and most fundamental function of a charging infrastructure app is the map display of the charging stations. It is important to switch on the GPS function so that the charging stations in the vicinity can be displayed. If the charging stations are shown on the map, it is also interesting to know whether basic details are shown: Is the petrol station occupied? What connections are there at the petrol station? How many charging options does it have?
Many apps offer a lot of information here: The various connections are listed as well as the specified charging time and further details about the opening times and providers of the charging stations.
The display here usually ranges from the map display, via which a route plan to the desired charging station can usually be selected, to the list view in which the most important information about the individual stations is summarized.
Only a few apps also offer the function of billing via app. This function is of course very advantageous for the user, as the amount filled up is either debited via a previously set up customer account or added to the mobile phone bill. This is not only a significant time saver, it also makes handling the charging stations a lot easier.
The operating system naturally plays a decisive role in choosing the right charging app: Most apps are now available for both Android and the iOS operating system; however, only a few are specially designed for Windows or Firefox OS. In the overview you will therefore find at least one app that is suitable for every operating system.
Whether you prefer to use the built-in charging station card of your electric car or install an app, you should still keep in mind: Your hands should be on the steering wheel while driving!
Cover picture: A comparison of charging station apps. Copyright sveta @ fotolia.com
Info video from green car magazine
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