Get up to speed with EV charging. Find car charging stations

The best EV charging apps help you find the right station for any electric car

Charging an electric car can be confusing. Unlike gas cars, there are all kinds of things to take into account when finding a charging station — like how many chargers are at a station, how fast they can charge, and whether or not they offer the right charging connector for your car.

Thankfully, there are a number of dedicated EV charging apps out there, and the likes of Apple Maps and Google Maps have gotten better at helping users find charging stations near them. That’s not to mention all the network-specific apps and car-specific apps that manufacturers and charging companies have made.

The best app for your vehicle may vary, of course. Your car’s manufacturer might have an app that integrates well with your car’s built-in software. Or, you might have a favorite charging network, and as such prefer to stick to their chargers.

Here’s a rundown of the best EV charging apps and why they’re so great.

ChargeHub

Perhaps one of the most useful tools in your EV charging app arsenal is ChargeHub. That’s because ChargeHub, like PlugShare below, isn’t affiliated with one particular EV charging network. Instead, it aggregates all charging networks, allowing you to search through all the different charging stations in your area, regardless of their network.

The app goes beyond simply showing you a big map of charging stations though. It also lets you filter stations based on things like plug type, charging speed, charging network, and more. That means that you can see only stations that support your car’s fastest charging speeds, for example.

The app also allows you to plan routes, meaning that you can figure out ahead of time where you’re going to stop to charge. That can come in handy for long road trips — though I did encounter some bugs when filtering stations specifically during the route planning. You can also add your own car, and the app will then automatically filter out stations that won’t work with your car model.

Generally, I found the design of the app to be pretty great too — and better than many of the other apps on this list. It’s modern and colorful, and relatively easy to navigate.

Download for: iOS | Android

PlugShare

PlugShare is similar to ChargeHub in that it’s not tied to a particular charging network, instead aggregating charging networks and allowing you to find the best station for your needs.

So what’s the difference between it and ChargeHub? Well, the interface isn’t quite as up-to-date and there are more ads, but I’ve also encountered fewer bugs than on ChargeHub. You’ll have to decide what’s better for your needs, but considering the fact that they’re both free, I recommend trying both for a while.

The rest of the basics of the apps are very similar. You can see all the charging stations near you, plan trips, and add your car model for more specific results. You can also check in to a station and add notes about things like whether or not the station is operating properly — something that all EV owners know can come in handy.

Download for: iOS | Android

Electrify America

Electrify America has one of the best charging networks in the country, especially if you want DC fast charging as often as possible. Thankfully, Electrify America has an app of its own.

Now, even if you use another app you may end up also using the Electrify America app. That’s because of the fact that the app is the best way to pay at Electrify America charging stations, and to monitor charging progress without needing to be right next to the station itself. An, you can use it to manage your Electrify Home charger, if you have one.

The Electrify America app doesn’t necessarily have the same features as some of the other apps on this list. Notably, the app doesn’t offer things like route planning, so you won’t necessarily use it to plan your trips. But, it does work with CarPlay and Android Auto, which means that you can search for and navigate to charging stations using your phone.

Download for: iOS | Android

ChargePoint

ChargePoint is similar to the Electrify America app in that it’s an app built for use with a specific charging network. The home screen shows all nearby ChargePoint stations. Unlike some of the other apps, you’ll see how many chargers are being used without having to tap on each location, which is a nice touch. Like others, you can filter based on charging speed and availability. You can even show chargers from other networks, though it doesn’t seem as though the ChargePoint app supports all charging networks, so it’s not the most useful feature. ChargePoint has a partnership with some other networks, like EVGo, allowing you to see chargers from those networks in the ChargePoint app.

Generally, the ChargePoint app is useful for those who use the ChargePoint network a lot, but perhaps not as useful for others.

Download for: iOS | Android

EVgo

Last but not least of the network-specific EV charging apps is EVgo, which offers many of the same features as other network-specific apps. From the EVgo app, you can see nearby charging stations, and like ChargePoint, you can see which stations have available chargers at a glance. Lke the others, you can add your car and filter based on plug type, charging speed, and more. EVgo and ChargePoint also have a partnership — so you can see ChargePoint and other stations in the EVGo app, allowing you to avoid having to bounce between different apps all the time.

One of the more interesting features of EVgo is the fact that it offers rewards points for those who use EVgo chargers, and you can use those points to charge your car for free.

Download for: iOS | Android

Get up to speed with EV charging.

Boost your all-electric knowledge with videos that simplify electricity and charging concepts.

Find out what you need to know about the charging process—whether in the convenience of home or on the go.

Set up your at-home charging station.

Prius Prime LE shown in Blue Magnetism

How to install a Level 2 charger.

You just need a licensed electrician to install it. Here are some equipment and installation options:

ChargePoint® Home Flex can charge your EV in the comfort of your own garage.

Need help finding an electrician? Qmerit can connect you with a licensed electrician near you.

Charging has gone public.

Juice up on the go by tapping into a network of public charging stations.

bZ4X Limited shown in Heavy Metal with Black roof

Finding a station has never been easier.

With currently over 30,000 public stations supporting Level 2 and DC Fast Charging, charging on the go is more convenient than ever. Just pull up, plug in, and charge up. And Toyota is working with ChargePoint and EVgo to help make tapping into their networks even easier.

Customers who purchase or lease a new 2023 Toyota bZ4X will get one year of unlimited complimentary charging at all EVgo-owned and operated public charging stations nationwide.

Charging Stations In Your Area

Charger Types

  • Level 2 Charger Supports: bZ4X, RAV4 Prime, Prius Prime
  • Level 3 Charger Supports: bZ4X

Charging Networks

  • ChargePoint
  • EVgo

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We’re having trouble loading your map. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Toyota does not own or operate the stations and is not responsible for their availability or performance. Click on station name for address.

0% of charging energy matched with renewable energy.

Clean Assist allows eligible All-Electric Vehicle owners nationwide and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle owners in California to offset their vehicle charging with 100% renewable energy—no matter where the vehicles are plugged in. And there’s no cost to participate in the program.

How it Works

Owners of eligible vehicles can opt into the Toyota Clean Assist program through the Toyota App. Active Remote Connect Trial or Subscription required.

The Toyota App then tracks the amount of the electricity used during charging and calculates the net emissions produced by charging.

Toyota then generates, or buys, an equivalent amount of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), ensuring that all charging activity is matched with zero-carbon electricity.

Vehicle Benefits

Feel the smooth acceleration, instant torque delivery and quiet drive—all advantages of the electric motor over an internal combustion engine.

Reducing CO2 emissions by going fully electric is one way we can lessen our impact on the environment.

All-Electric and Plug-In Hybrid vehicles can bring about potential state incentives. Preliminary expectations include a lower cost of ownership, including overall service and maintenance costs.

FAQs

What are the different types of electrified vehicles?

Electrified vehicles come in four flavors: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, and all-electric (referred to as Battery EVs, BEVs, or simply EVs).

Toyota offers a wide range of hybrids and plug-in hybrids, as well as the fuel cell Mirai in California, and the all-electric bZ4X. Discover this growing lineup at toyota.com/electrified.

Why drive an all-electric vehicle?

Three words: convenience, fun and savings.

All-electric vehicles can be conveniently charged at home, overnight and on-demand, as well as at public charging stations when out and about. No more trips to the gas station needed.

They’re also fun to drive, thanks to the immediate torque response from the electric motors, as well as the smooth acceleration and quiet cabin.

Drivers won’t just save money by avoiding the gas pump, either—they may also be able to enjoy state incentives, as well as the potential long-term maintenance savings typical of an all-electric powertrain.

And as icing on the cake, driving an all-electric vehicle can also help the environment by reducing CO2 emissions.

What is the all-electric vehicle driving experience like?

Thanks to the use of electric motors instead of internal combustion engines, all-electric vehicles provide smooth acceleration, immediate torque response and a surprisingly quiet ride experience.

How far will an all-electric vehicle go?

The driving range of an all-electric vehicle will vary depending on how/where you drive, charging habits, accessory use, outside temperature and other factors. Battery capacity also decreases with time and use, which will reduce range.

What can impact driving range?

All-electric driving range may decrease significantly depending on speed, outside temperature, accessory use, how/where you drive, charging habits, and other factors. Battery capacity also decreases with time and use which will reduce range.

Where can I charge an all-electric vehicle?

All-electric vehicles can be charged at home with Level 1 or Level 2 charging solutions, or at public charging stations with Level 2 and Level 3.

Many public charging networks, like ChargePoint and EVgo, further simplify the charging process by providing app-based charger access and payment.

What are the different charging levels?

There are three different all-electric vehicle charging levels.

Level 1 is the basic charging solution. Primarily for home use, Level 1 charging cables plug directly into a standard wall outlet. They are usually included with the vehicle and are totally portable, so they can go where you and your vehicle go. This is the slowest option, however, with all-electric vehicles requiring days to reach a full charge. Because of this charging time, Level 1 is best used with plug-in hybrids.

Level 2 is a more powerful AC charging solution that is commonly found both at home and at public charging stations. Level 2 chargers are ideal for charging all-electric vehicles overnight, but for home use, the equipment must be purchased and installed by a licensed electrician.

Level 3 is also known as “DC Fast Charging,” and usually can be the quickest charging solution. This is partially because it outputs DC electricity, which means the vehicle doesn’t need to convert incoming AC first. Level 3 is not practical for residential use and is only found at select public charging stations. Charge time will vary widely depending on outside temperature and other factors. DC Fast Charging is only available for bZ4X at this time.

How do I charge an all-electric vehicle?

The actual fill-up process is similar to that of a gasoline vehicle—simply insert the connector into the vehicle and charging will begin. In fact, most all-electric vehicles will also allow you to set a charging schedule to take advantage of varying electricity rates throughout the day.

This charging process can vary depending on equipment and location. Watch the how-to video on this page to learn more.

How do I monitor and manage my charging?

For Toyota vehicles with active Connected Services trials or subscriptions, the Toyota app is the best resource for home-charging management. It offers great tools and insights, including vehicle range, charging scheduling, tracking charging status and costs, and more.

The Toyota app can also be used to find public charging locations, as well as handle charging and payment at select network stations.

speed, charging, find, stations

You can also monitor your charging—including battery level and estimated range—through the Multi-Information Display (MID) and central touchscreen in your vehicle.

It’s important to note that any estimated vehicle range calculations shown are based on previous usage patterns and may not accurately predict the vehicle range.

Where can I find out more information about Toyota’s electrified vehicles?

You can learn more about Toyota’s current and future electrified lineup by visiting toyota.com/electrified.

Save (Even ) Money: How to Find Free Electric Car Charging Stations

Electric vehicle charging is not free, but some stations and programs let you top up at no cost. Here’s how to save some cash when powering up your EV.

2021 Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition (Photo: Ford)

With US gas topping 5 per gallon, the option to charge up for free is a satisfying perk of owning an electric vehicle. And drivers are taking note; electric vehicle sales in the US rose 60% in 2022 (Opens in a new window). in part due to an exciting range of new models.

EV charging is not free; topping up at home means increased electricity costs, and many charging stations impose a fee for juicing up on the go. But there are a number of free charging programs if you know where to look.

Filter for Free Stations on PlugShare

Across the country, private companies (Opens in a new window). nonprofit programs (Opens in a new window). and local governments (Opens in a new window) are offering free EV charging options. The easiest way to find them is on the PlugShare (Opens in a new window) app, which includes a filter for free chargers. Much of the app’s content is crowdsourced by real drivers, who “check in” at each station and upload the latest information about it, including if it’s still free, how many minutes of charging you get, and at what level/speed.

Under Map Filters, toggle off Show Locations That Require Payment. Then, when you click on a station on the map, you’ll see something like “no fee” written in the description. Note: The Electrify America app, another popular option, doesn’t have a filter for free stations.

Charge at Your Workplace

Workplace charging is an appealing way for EV owners to maintain a full charge without making a separate trip to power up. It’s like someone taking your car to the gas station as you work.

Some companies have started offering free charging as an affordable perk; during testing for our Best Mobile Networks 2022 story, we charged at a gratis ChargePoint location at Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park. For deep-ed firms, the cost is minimal. Offering workplace charging to employees can be as little as 1.50 per day with Level 2 charging and as little as 0.60 a day with Level 1 charging—which is less than a cup of coffee, Plug In America (Opens in a new window) explains.

Check the options in your employer’s parking lot, but don’t assume you can use another company’s chargers as they may require validation. If your workplace does not have free chargers, make the case to add them. The Department of Energy has a guide (Opens in a new window) for implementing workplace charging, and some states (Opens in a new window) offer reimbursement for installing level 2 chargers.

Take Advantage of Free Charging Promotions

Many new EVs come with some amount of free charging, often at stations in the Electrify America network (Opens in a new window). They are essentially charging credits that you can cash in. If you haven’t yet, check out your car’s free charging options and start charging before the offer expires. Edmunds has a full list (Opens in a new window) of all EV models that come with free charging. A few examples:

  • Volkswagen ID.4 (Opens in a new window) : Comes with 30 minutes of free level 3/DC fast charging, and 60 minutes of level 2 charging at Electrify America stations.
  • Ford F150 Lightning (Opens in a new window) : Comes with 250kWh of power at level 3/DC fast charging at Electrify America stations.
  • Chevy Bolt (Opens in a new window) : Free home installation of a level 2 charger with your purchase of a 2022 model. While this isn’t free charging, it’ll save you as much as 1,000, as well as time waiting on a level 1, snail’s pace charge. Time is money!

For Teslas, early adopters snagged free Supercharging for life, which means speedy level 3 charging at the company’s network of Supercharger stations. That offer ended in 2017 for new Tesla buyers, though the company says (Opens in a new window) its fees are four times less than buying gas. It also runs promotions, such as free Supercharging around the holidays.

The best ways to find charging stations for your electric vehicle

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  • Charging stations are popping up every day, but they still can be tough to come by.
  • Fortunately, there are lots of ways to find places to charge up an electric vehicle.
  • Manufacturer apps, third-party services, and charging providers are all useful for finding plugs.

Electric vehicles are taking roads by storm. But lots of drivers, even ones eager to help usher in a greener future, are too worried about charging up to make the switch.

They may have a point. Charging infrastructure will need to get a lot better if we want to get millions more Americans into battery-powered rides in the next decade. And there’s no doubt that gas pumps are much easier to come by than charging stations.

Still, if you know where to look, it’s simple to find a place to charge up your EV in many parts of the country.

Manufacturer apps

A handful of car companies offer their own mobile apps or in-car solutions for locating charging stations and paying for them. If you own a car from one of these manufacturers, this can be the most convenient method for finding spots to plug in.

Tesla has a clear edge in this regard, as it runs its own charging network with thousands of stations. Tesla owners can use an app or their car’s infotainment system to sift through nearby locations and see if any plugs are available. They can also plan routes that account for stopping to charge.

BMW, for example, lets owners search for public chargers through the BMW Charging app.

Some automakers have started cobbling together their own charging networks by making deals with existing charging providers and slapping on new branding. This is their way of making charging convenient and seamless without spending billions on a vast, Tesla-like network.

The FordPass charging network, for instance, counts 16,000 stations run by companies like ChargePoint, EVgo, and Electrify America. Ford’s app lets owners pay for in-network charging, check plug availability, and plan trips. General Motors is working on a similar Ultium Charge 360 service in partnership with seven charging providers.

Third-party services

Numerous third-party apps and websites can help EV owners find places to replenish their vehicles’ batteries.

A quick search for EV charging stations on Google Maps can do the trick. For any given location that pops up, Google will tell you how many plugs are available to use, the level of charging, and the type of connector present.

There are also a host of dedicated platforms — PlugShare and ChargeHub being two of the most popular — that let users search for stations across major charging networks. Both allow users to plan trips and filter search results by connector type, charger power, network, and other features. PlugShare users can also filter for stations with the highest user ratings or for locations with amenities like Wi-Fi.

Individual charging networks

The last and probably most tedious way to find chargers is to check each of the major networks individually.

EVgo, ChargePoint, Electrify America, Volta, and others offer the ability to search for nearby chargers, check the level of charging on offer, and see if plugs are in use. Tesla says it will soon open up its massive Supercharger network to owners of other EVs, too.

speed, charging, find, stations

This isn’t necessarily the most efficient method of finding a place to juice up, but if you subscribe to a company’s network or just prefer a certain provider’s chargers, this may be the way to go. Plus, Google Maps and other third-party sites may not always be as up to date as a charging company’s own directory.

Where to Find EV Charging Stations

If you’re taking a trip and need to charge on the way, there are now over 40,000 charging stations across the United States – and that number is growing every day. Here are a few ways to locate the closest one when you need it.

How Do I Find an Electric Car Charging Station?

You’ve chosen an electric car and you’ve integrated it into your daily life. Mostly, this means charging at home overnight. But on a longer drive, you may need to seek out somewhere to charge as your car uses up its battery power.

The fear of being stranded during a long road trip is known as range anxiety. However, many private and public efforts are underway to add charging stations across the country – and the numbers grow daily. Private companies such as Electrify America, EVgo and ChargePoint continue to expand their charger networks.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are now over 56,000 charging stations with over 160,000 individual charging outlets across the United States – and that is growing every day.

There are many ways to locate EV charging stations near you, whether you’re driving across country or taking a casual Sunday drive. Let’s explore some ways to find an electric car charging station.

Your Car’s Navigation System

Probably the easiest way for you to find a charging station is to use the navigation system built into your electric car. The vast majority of EVs have a live connection that provides real-time information including traffic, road construction, and more. Your car’s navigation system will also let you find the nearest charging station.

Some of the more sophisticated navigation systems will even be able to show you which charging stations are Level 2 (AC) chargers and which ones are Level 3 (DC) fast chargers.

Don’t forget dealerships! If you bought your electric car from a franchised dealership, it likely has equipment that can charge your vehicle as well. You can use your navigation system to locate the closest one to you.

GreenCars Charging Network

The GreenCars Charging network is an index of hundreds of locations and charging stations across the U.S. with no strings attached – just cables.

Show up at any GreenCars Network location, highlighted on our easily accessible map in green and yellow, to get Level 1, 2 or 3 charging. Other nationwide charging stations are also listed and highlighted in grey. We’ve got everything you need to get charged up and on your way!

You can find our Green partners in Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia, with more coming soon.

PlugShare

PlugShare is a website and app that provides EV charging station information across North America, Asia and Europe. It has information regarding EV charging networks, locations, charging fees, payment methods, real-time information on usage and more. It provides information about all types of charging stations.

speed, charging, find, stations

What is unique about PlugShare is that it is user-sourced, meaning there is a community of active members who contribute and update the database. In addition to public stations, they also show residential charging stations shared within neighborhoods.

ChargeHub

ChargeHub provides information similar to PlugShare with an app and a community. One unique feature is that it lets you send a message to other users through the app. This allows users to coordinate charging station time – and provides a way to share resources, if needed.

Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC)

The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is a U.S. Department of Energy database that shows public charging stations nationwide from Level 1 through Level 3. They also provide similar information that lets you filter by charger types, EVSE networks and connectors using zip codes.

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