Beyond better control and a better understanding of the process, these related unlock a series of features that can significantly streamline and improve your charging experience.
Generally, the management of these connected features is done via an EV charging application that can be downloaded to your smartphone (or tablet).
But with so many EV Charger Applications out there and a lot of different brands and developers, it’s hard to choose. So what are the best features you should look for when charging at home and why? In this article, we’ve collected the 6 most useful features an EV charging app can have.
Different EV Charger Applications
Before exploring what a recharge app can do, it’s worth defining what it is. In practice, there are different charging application types depending on whether they are used for public or home charging.
Public charging apps
Public charging apps, also known as charging station finders, are used to find nearby electric vehicle charging stations and usually come with a map showing which chargers are available in a given area.
Home charging apps
Home charging apps, on the other hand, are usually bundled to work with a given charger and aim to control home charging with a simple tap and swipe on your smartphone screen. Sometimes there is some overlap between the two, with some home charging apps also able to find and use a network of public electric car charging stations.
Top 6 EV Charger App Features
These are the 6 main features that will help you charge your electric car optimally.
1. Set charging schedules
Perhaps one of the most useful features of a charging app is the ability to schedule charging at convenient times. This way you can plug in your car when you get home but only set it to start charging when electricity costs are lower or when you have fewer appliances powered on to avoid overloading your electrical circuit.
Plus, charging scheduling ensures your EV will be charged when you need it by setting preferences and priorities for the charging session. Finally, an app lets you adjust the schedule on the go – for example, if your plans change and you need to charge your car earlier than expected.
2. Collect data, insights and statistics
Another important advantage of a recharge application is the possibility of gather data and ideas about your electricity consumption and charging behavior. This is particularly useful for managing energy costs, allowing you to decide to charge when it is most profitable. Alongside this, by understanding how often you charge your EV and how much range you add versus the range you use, you can adjust your charging behavior to your personal needs and even optimize your car battery life.
3. Receive notifications and alerts
Using a charging app is a great way to stay up to date on your EV charging by receiving notifications and alerts related to the process. For example, you can be notified when your EV has finished charging or after it has reached a certain state of charge.
Alerts can be particularly useful in notifying drivers when there is an issue with the charging session. For example, an app could notify drivers that charging has stopped earlier than expected (for example, due to a power outage or someone unplugged the car) and allow them to react quickly to resolve the problem.
4. Manage sustainable energy
Solar energy is the second fastest growing renewable energy source and becomes the cheapest (and very sustainable) option for generating electricity in most parts of the world. Since charging electric vehicles is energy-intensive, using solar energy can be very advantageous to reduce your electricity bill.
However, using solar power for your electric vehicle is not a simple plug-and-play experience, and the electricity generated by your solar panels requires some processing before it can be fed into your car. Charging app features are available to help manage this by allowing you to easily choose your power source and schedule charging for times when solar power generation is at its peak. If you have an external battery storage system, you can even charge your car at night with the energy you generated during the day.
Thus, more and more people are installing solar panels, and many are considering use solar energy to charge their electric vehicles.
5. Manage users and chargers
A charging app can also help you streamline having multiple users on a single charging station. Much like your Netflix account, you may want to add and manage multiple users, to separate data and track individual users. This is particularly useful if several people use a charger, if you have more than one car or if you own more than one charging station.
This feature can also be useful for apartment buildings and multi-family homes, where charging stations can be shared among residents. In these cases, a charging app can help attribute energy consumption to a given user, ensuring that they are paying the correct amount for their electricity consumption.
6. Find available public charging stations
Although home charging is the most popular, you can charge your electric car in many places. Some EV charging apps can also help you find EV charging stations on the go. Next to your home charger, you can easily access public charging stations in the familiar interface. Generally speaking, public charging app search features usually show important information such as type and number of chargers, charging speed, real-time availability, and costs.
As we have embraced technological advancements in many aspects of our lives, an EV charging app is a logical and versatile addition to our digital toolbox that will make our lives easier. An EV charging app is a versatile tool that helps drivers control charging sessions and stay up to date with data and information throughout the process. Of course, as technological developments develop, we expect more and more EV charging app features to be introduced or enhanced in the future.
If you’re considering installing an EV charger in your home and want to learn more about existing or upcoming smart charging connectivity and features, check out our smart charging article where we cover this topic in more detail.