Planning electric vehicle trips is now easier with route planner apps. These digital tools offer features like range estimation, charging station locations, and real-time traffic updates, ensuring a seamless and efficient EV travel experience. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the best EV route planner apps in Europe to make your journey hassle-free.
Best EV Route Planner Apps
Now electric car road trips are becoming increasingly convenient due to faster and more reliable chargers being widely available. However, with the growing number of electric vehicles on the road, some advance planning is still advisable for long journeys. Here are some of the best EV route planner apps you can use for route planning:
1. Google Maps EV Trip Planner
Google Maps, while primarily known for route navigation and traffic updates, can provide some useful information for electric car drivers, although it may require a bit of navigation within the interface. It’s included in this list of best EV route planners because Google is expected to enhance its predictive features for EV users.
On a desktop computer, you can enter your journey details, select search along the route, and search for EV charging stations. Google Maps will then display all the charging stations along your route, complete with charger-type details. On a mobile device, you can tap the three dots in the upper right corner, choose Search along the route, and search for EV charging to view all the chargers on your route and add a stop.
A potential challenge arises if Google Maps reroutes you to a quicker route, as it may still assume you need to stop at the initially selected charger.
- Pro: Google Maps offers real-time traffic updates for your route.
- Con: It doesn’t provide guidance for selecting chargers along your route.
2. ABRP (A Better Route Planner)
A Better Route Planner (ABRP) is a versatile app available for both Android and iOS devices that efficiently guides users to their destinations. It is one of the best EV route planners. It specializes in route planning and navigation tailored for electric vehicles. The user-friendly interface allows you to select your EV model, set your destination, and generate a comprehensive route plan, complete with charging station locations and estimated trip duration.
Notably, ABRP provides an option to view the route’s topography, indicating areas with potential energy consumption challenges. Users praise its accuracy, factoring in variables like temperature and road conditions. Some Tesla drivers even prefer it over the Tesla Planner, as it optimizes charging stops within the battery’s efficient ‘fast’ charging range.
The free version permits the sharing of routes to Google Maps for real-time traffic updates, while the premium version incorporates built-in traffic data.
- Pro: ABRP offers precise range predictions.
- Pro: It displays nearby dining options near charging stations.
- Con: Live data is available for select top charging networks only.
Zap-Map, a renowned EV route planner established in 2014, is widely adopted by UK EV drivers. It is in fact among the best EV route planners in Europe. The platform comprehensively maps nearly all public charging points, with approximately 70% offering real-time status updates to determine charger availability.
Key features encompass search functions, filters, proximity-based charger listings, detailed charging point information, and a Zap-Chat community feature. Additionally, it offers an intelligent route planner.
A free version provides essential functionalities. However, Zap-Map’s map view displays numerous pins, including slower 3kW chargers, which can be filtered to display only rapid chargers. It supplies cost information, charger availability based on self-reporting, and the time since the last charge. Users also report charger status, aiding in assessing reliability and congestion.
Zap-Map offers plus and premium versions priced at about £29.99 and £47.99 per year, respectively, introducing added features like What3words navigation, advanced filters, and charger ratings to identify dependable options. The premium version offers integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for in-car displays.
On the map, charging networks with live data are denoted by icons on their logos. Live data updates every five minutes, with charge points displaying a blue marker when in use. Supported networks include Instavolt, Osprey, Gridserve, MFG, BP Pulse, ESB, GeniePoint, Fastned, Ionity, Tesla, Shell, and ChargePlace Scotland.
- Pro: The community chat feature is actively used to report recent charger issues.
- Pro: In-car display functionality provides detailed charge point data, including live status (when available) and recent EV driver interactions.
- Con: One limitation is that if you’re accustomed to real-time traffic updates via Google Maps, this feature isn’t available with Zap-Map.
- Con: Charger colors on the map may not be user-friendly (note: a symbols key is available in the app for reference).
Also Read: 16 Best EV Charging Apps in Europe
PlugShare, resembling Zap-Map, is among the best EV route planners. Its icon design, resembling brown and green petrol pumps, lacks visual appeal. The app allows trip planning for specific vehicles via a map display. However, it doesn’t account for elevation’s impact on range, instead displaying a conservative estimate with a large green circle on the map, which may not align with the selected vehicle. Users can filter charging options based on reviews to identify highly rated chargers.
- Pro: Easy filtering based on user ratings.
- Con: The app lacks the option to share routes for real-time navigation via Google. It also allows you to choose chargers ‘along the route,’ leading to an accidental selection of a charger in the opposite direction.
Bonnet is one of the best EV route planners in Europe. It presents itself as a versatile payment app that allows you to plan routes across the UK and Europe, offering access to charging services through a single app or an RFID card if you prefer. It shares similarities with the Electroverse app but offers an additional feature: Boosts, which are subscription plans providing discounts on charging sessions. For about £2 per month, you can enjoy a 10% charging discount, while £8 grants you a 15% discount. Notable rapid networks include Osprey, Ionity, MFG, and the emerging Evyve. Bonnet has also established a partnership to display untethered 7kW Connected Kerb chargers.
However, disappointment arises as Bonnet still requires a prepayment authorization hold of about £30 for each charging session, reminiscent of the process for using contactless payment on a new network.
- Pro: Bonnet Premium offers a route planning app tailored for newer EVs, currently available for free during its beta phase. To access this service, users need to add a payment method and will receive notifications if it transitions to a paid offering.
- Pro: Canceling Premium within the app is a straightforward process.
- Con: Difficulty in locating the route planning tool within the app, identified by a small bent arrow on the main map.
- Con: The results provided by this app lacked essential information, such as estimated battery state of charge (SoC%) or charging time.
Also See: How to Get an EV Charging Card
6. EV Navigation
EV Navigation takes us into the more technical realm of route planning, offering a comprehensive solution for accurately predicting battery discharge rates while maintaining an intuitive user interface. It calculates routes while factoring in charging times and allows you to customize variables like passenger count, driving mode (sport, normal, or eco), and even tire pressure.
This empowers electric vehicle (EV) drivers to optimize their travel time and minimize wait times at charging stations. However, if you’re dissatisfied with the recommended charging station’s appearance or location, finding suitable alternatives may prove challenging.
EV Navigation offers valuable insights into your estimated range for a specific journey. It is thus among the best EV route planners.
- Pro: Provides valuable insights into the impact of factors like passengers and driving style.
- Con: Limited interactivity if you prefer not to use the suggested charger.
WattsUp is a confidence-boosting app and is thus on our list of EV trip planning apps. It offers a clear map displaying logos of available rapid charging options, along with a reassuring list of nearby chargers in real-time. It includes a status bar that provides up-to-date information about the next chargers and, for select networks, their availability.
WattsUp provides live status updates for prominent networks like Instavolt, Osprey, Gridserve, as well as smaller networks like ChargePlaceScotland and ForEv. Within the free CarPlay interface, the app showcases nearby public charge points, indicating their location, distance, power rating, and live availability. Users can also mark their favorite chargers for quick reference.
When some users attempted to upgrade to the trial version of Discovery mode for £1 via Google Playstore, it didn’t function, and canceling it from the app proved impossible, preventing them from assessing its benefits.
- Pro: The inclusion of charge operator logos on the map simplifies the evaluation of the best operator relative to location.
- Con: Watts Up is exclusively available as a mobile app and cannot be accessed on laptops or tablets.
Also Read: EV Charging Rules
8. Octopus Electroverse
Octopus Electroverse opens its charging network to anyone, even if you’re not an Octopus customer. Upon registration, they provide you with a card for payment, which can be linked to your home energy bill or a registered card. Some networks, like Osprey, offer a 20% discount for off-peak charging after 7 pm.
One notable feature of this best EV route planner app is the map’s display of rapid chargers, such as Instavolt and Gridserve, that are not part of the network. Furthermore, the Electroverse card is compatible across Europe, particularly valuable in regions where RFID cards or apps remain essential due to limited contactless payment options. It is among the best electric car route planners in Europe.
The route planner now functions within the app. However, autocomplete suggestions occasionally reference places in the region with similar names, making route planning a bit challenging. Nevertheless, the suggested routes are sensible, and you can easily send them to Google Maps on your phone for real-time traffic updates.
The map provides an overview of all networks in any location, including those not integrated into their payment system. Notably, Instavolt and Gridserve chargers are absent from their network, although their locations are still visible on the app.
- Pro: Eliminates upfront ‘holds’ on your credit card, with charges billed directly to your home account.
- Pro: Ideal for European road trips.
- Con: The route planner lacks alternative route suggestions but offers a comprehensive view of available options through the app.
- Con: The network does not include Gridserve or Instavolt chargers, although their locations are displayed on the app.
9. Tesla App
Tesla stands as the world’s most popular EV brand, as reported by Statista. For Tesla drivers, utilizing the Tesla app for route planning is the ideal choice, as it provides access to an extensive network of over 50,000 Superchargers across the world.
Interestingly, non-Tesla EV owners equipped with CCS charging connectors can also leverage the Tesla app to access Tesla Magic Dock Superchargers. Notably, several prominent automakers, including Ford, Rivian, Polestar, Volvo, and GM, have announced their EVs will gain access to the Tesla Supercharger network by early 2024, incorporating NACS ports and adapters. This empowers non-Tesla EV drivers with native access to Tesla Supercharger stations throughout the country.
Thus, the Tesla app is listed as the best EV route planner application. Now, let’s take a look at its pros and cons.
- Pro: For Tesla drivers, the app extends additional conveniences, such as requesting roadside assistance and scheduling service maintenance.
- Pro: An appealing feature allows you to track your vehicle’s location directly from your phone.
- Con: Non-Tesla drivers may not have access to the same level of vehicle tracking convenience that Tesla drivers enjoy through the Tesla app.
10. Apple Maps EV Charging Stations
In its continuous efforts to enhance features for electric car owners, Apple is introducing further updates to Apple Maps with iOS 17. This latest offering includes real-time charging availability information and the ability for drivers to select their preferred charging network.
Apple initially introduced support for EV routing within Apple Maps during WWDC 2020. This functionality became accessible to Ford Mustang Mach-E drivers last year, followed by Porsche Taycan drivers earlier this year.
With iOS 17 on your iPhone, Apple Maps, one of the best EV route planners will prompt users to configure their preferred charging networks for their electric vehicles. Options include ChargePoint, and Tesla’s Supercharger network, among others.
Once a choice is made, Apple Maps will intelligently provide real-time charging availability details, such as the total number of stalls at a specific charging station and the current occupancy status.
- Pro: Apple Maps will filter charging options based on the user’s electric car model and its compatible charging connector.
- Pro: It is anticipated that more EV manufacturers will embrace this feature in the future, presenting a valuable enhancement, particularly for CarPlay users.
- Con: It’s important to note that this feature is still a work in progress, and some data may be missing in iOS 17 beta 1.
- Con: Currently, this feature appears limited to vehicles supporting Apple Maps EV routing, specifically the Mach-E, and Taycan.
Note: The plans and subscriptions of these apps can change over time, for up-to-date info on them visit the official sites.
With the convenience of EV route planner apps, drivers can confidently navigate their electric vehicles across long distances, making electric cars a more viable and sustainable choice for modern transportation needs. To read more amazing blogs about electric vehicles, explore our website.