Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Rose Morah
Searching for a good EV route planner can be confusing.
In fact, most of the time it is a trial and error.
This is because there are many EV road trip planner apps.
Everyone now want to venture into development of EV apps because this is the future. Unfortunately, only a few developers have managed to develop the best route planner apps.
We recently took a deep dive into Ev route planners.
First, we researched to find out the most recommended EV route planner apps by EV owners who:
- Own an EV and have used different route planner apps.
- Have planned long road trips with EV route planners.
We then planned road trips to different locations in North America (both in cities, rural areas, and on cross-country trips) using the most recommended route planners just to find the topmost EV route planners.
Before we dive into the findings, what really makes a good EV road trip planner?
What makes a good EV road trip planner
- It should be close to perfect
This means it gives you a close to accurate charge for your next destination. This is great, especially for new EV owners because it minimizes the range anxiety when going on long road trips.
Additionally, it should provide users with accurate information about the types of chargers and how fast they really are.
- It should allow you to filter the charging stops based on the connector, charging speed, and the number of available chargers.
It should be able to plan a route that has multiple chargers and not just gives you what it thinks are the routes with the most convenient chargers.
Some of these routes may turn out to be ‘chargeless’ or you may end up skipping several high-power chargers.
- The app should be fast, user-friendly, and with very few bugs.
The most recommended EV trip planners by EV owners
The pie chart below shows the most recommended EV route planners by EV owners:
- A Better Route Planner (ABRP)
Summary of the best EV apps in public charging stations:
- 45% of the EV owners recommended PlugShare, while 47% recommended ABRP.
- Some EV owners enjoy using PlugShare in conjunction with ABRP when planning long road trips.
- Only 6% of EV owners recommended Chargeway.
- 2% recommended other EV route planner apps.
NOTE: 70% of Tesla owners recommended the Tesla in-built trip planner. I have not included it in the above data as it is only applicable to Tesla cars.
Our experiences with the most recommended EV trip planner apps
As mentioned earlier, we then took the top 3 most recommended EV trip planner apps (PlugShare, ABRP, and Chargeway) on a 2-week cross-country road trip across different cities/towns.
The data below shows our most recommended EV route planner based on our experience with different EVs.
Summary of the findings:
Based on our experiences with the 3 apps, ABRP emerged as the top app followed closely by PlugShare, and the least recommended was ChargeWay.
Let’s begin from the bottom: our ChargeWay experiences:
- ChargeWay is not that great for cross-country road trips. However, it is a great app if you are touring big cities.
- It lacked some important features that can be found on ABRP and PlugShare apps.
ABRP and PlugShare were the best EV route planner apps, based on our experiences. These two apps have been in the game for quite a while and seem like they are here to stay!
Additionally, you can use them together for a better road trip experience.
For instance, we used A Better Route Planner (ABRP) to plan our trips, and PlugShare to find better-charging options by browsing the charging stations, places to sleep while you charge overnight, restrooms, shopping, WIFI e.t.c along the route.
You might also like:
ABRP VS PlugShare
The table below shows a comparison between ABRP and PlugShare
|A Better Route Planner (ABRP)||PlugShare|
|1.||It was 90% accurate.||1.||It was 70% accurate.|
|2.||The app was sometimes slow/sluggish (a few times) but very fast most of the time.||2.||The app was not as fast as ABRP.|
|3.||In some locations, it provided incorrect information about how fast a charger was on our planned route.||3.||Rarely provided incorrect information about how fast the charger was on our planned route.|
|4.||It does not give quick updates on newly available chargers at different locations.||4.||Give fast updates on newer available chargers, including “coming soon charging stations”.|
|5.||Fewer charging options compared to PlugShare.||5.||It has more charging options compared to ABRP.|
|6.||It does not have charger reviews.||6.||You can check the charger reviews on PlugShare.|
|7.||It has a ton of variables such as temperature, driving speed, battery degradation, weather, and traffic that users can tweak for a more accurate result.||7.||It does not have many variables.|
|8.||No option to filter your route based on the charging networks.||8.||You can filter your charging networks.|
|To get the most out of PlugShare, Sign up for free (register) for extra features.|
The two apps are also great for EVs with a limited range.
In conclusion, apps are constantly being updated and new features are always coming out all the time. Therefore, be sure to always keep an eye on PlugShare and ABRP websites for future updates so you don’t miss out on any of them.