ByLeigh Garofalow

Oct 13, 2014

As electric vehicles and electric hybrid cars become more cost-effective and easier to buy, people are considering purchasing “EVs” as their next car. One of the number one fears people list as a reason not to get an EV is the fear of running out of battery range while driving.

While we are used to seeing gas stations on many corners, charging stations are not as easily seen. Sometimes they are on the second level of a parking deck or in the far corner of a parking lot, sometimes they are even in unexpected places like church parking lots.

As the saying goes these days, there’s an app for that – and in this case multiple apps.  These three apps should be downloaded by every EV car owner (or prospective owner), helping you quickly locate charging stations near you.

  • PlugShare – This app helps you find charging stations everywhere, even internationally. It even helps you find some of the more off beat charging stations including people’s homes. There are many EV enthusiasts that make their home a charging station. Often they leave their cell phone numbers and ask for a call or text to let them know you are coming. Plugshare has other non-residential stations, and this app will surely come in handy if you are traveling far from home.
  • Open Charge Map – This app also helps you find charging stations. This gives detailed information about what kind of charging station it is with pictures and other details so you can locate it easily. This app also gives you directions to the charging stations better than the other apps since it has an actual navigation function built-in.
  • Green Charge – If you have Prius Plug-in, Nissan Leaf, or a Ford Focus EV you need to download this app. The app can communicate with your car to keep you informed about its charge, and track other data like financial and environmental costs. You have to love an app that compares your emissions to conventional vehicles. If you are data geek this is a must-have app.

Another good app is Recargo which also tells you the location of charging stations and has member-driven information about the charging station… think Yelp for charging stations.

As more and more people purchase EVs, these apps for locating electric vehicle charging stations will become more and more important to help everyone feel comfortable traveling longer distances knowing they can charge their vehicles.

Feature image courtesy Steve Jurvetson

By Leigh Garofalow

Leigh Garofalow is a self described 'born environmentalist' who won a recycling poster contest in 3rd grade and has been green ever since. She is a mother of two children under the age of 6 who think taking a cloth napkin and their own utensils to school is normal. She loves writing about anything related to health, wellness, and the environment. One day she hopes to make every up-cycled item and recipe she pinned on Pinterest!