As the adoption of electric vehicles has grown, so has the availability of EV-specific apps for CarPlay. There are a number of excellent CarPlay apps that help take your EV experience to the next level, including planning trips, finding chargers, and more. Read on for the growing list of CarPlay apps that every EV owner should check out.
EVs that support CarPlay
Most every EV on the market offers support for Apple’s CarPlay platform, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E, The Volkswagen ID.4, the Kia EV6, the Chevy Bolt, and plenty of others. Two of the major exceptions here are Tesla and Rivian, neither of which support CarPlay and neither of which have shown any indication they plan to add CarPlay support.
CarPlay, for those unfamiliar, is Apple’s platform that basically mirrors your iPhone to your car’s infotainment system. You can access specific apps designed for CarPlay, including first-party apps from Apple, third-party apps in a handful of different categories, and interact with Siri.
For a breakdown of the best CarPlay apps across all App Store categories, be sure to check out our in-depth roundup right here.
Apple is also planning a major revamp for CarPlay that will start hitting the first supported cars sometime in late 2023. This “next generation of CarPlay” provides content for all of the driver’s screens in a car, including the instrument cluster. It will also add support for vehicle-specific features like climate controls and drive modes.
The best EV apps for CarPlay
If you’re an Apple Maps user who wants to stick with Apple’s platform for navigation, the company has done an excellent job of adopting some EV-specific features over the last several years. As you’d expect, these EV-specific features are also supported via CarPlay. This also includes support for multi-stop navigation routes, which is a feature added in iOS 16 this year at long last.
The headlining feature here is support for electric vehicle routing, which means the Maps app can help you plan trips that include support for charging stops for your EV. Apple Maps, when your iPhone is connected to CarPlay, can track your car’s charge level. In some cases, you might also need to download your car manufacturer’s app from the App Store.
Apple Maps takes into account a number of different factors to determine when and how often you need to charge. This includes the availability of chargers, the speed of those chargers, elevation levels, your driving speed, and more. It will then automatically insert charging stops along your route. Additionally, if you drive until your charge gets too low, Apple Maps will present an alternative route to the nearest charging station.
To make sure you’re using all of the available EV features in Apple Maps, update your iPhone to iOS 16, which is available as a free download.
Google Maps offers a handful of features for EV drivers, but not to the level of Apple Maps or some of the other apps on the market. For instance, Google Maps on CarPlay doesn’t offer support for electric vehicle routing. The app doesn’t have access to your car’s battery data and won’t route you to EV chargers on a long drive.
Google Maps does offer a feature that picks the most efficient routes for EVs. The app will ask you to select your car’s “engine type,” and you can choose “electric” from the list of options. Google Maps will then pick routes that are the most energy-efficient, while also still factoring in traffic and other data points.
Google Maps also includes support for manually finding EV charging stations. It will show a few helpful details for these chargers, as well, including connector types and charging speeds. Some stations in Google Maps will also show whether a charger is available or if all of the spots are full.
If your car has Google Maps natively built-in (meaning outside of CarPlay), the EV features are more advanced. That’s unfortunately not the case for using the Google Maps app through CarPlay. Hopefully, this is something that will change in the future.
- App Store: Google Maps
Like Google Maps, Waze has a pretty lackluster selection of features for electric cars and this is true for the Waze app via CarPlay as well. The only thing Waze offers for EV owners is the ability to find nearby charging locations and chargers along your current route.
My belief is that Waze is best used alongside another navigation app. But as Apple Maps has continued to add Waze-style features, I’ve found myself relying on it less and less. The lackluster support for EV features doesn’t help the situation, either.
A Better Route Planner
If you’re an EV driver and haven’t tried out A Better Route Planner, commonly referred to as ABRP, you’re missing out. It’s a powerful routing app and service for EV owners that offers more granularity and control over your route than any other option on the market. I’ve yet to find any app that creates plans as accurately as ABRP, nor one that offers the level of control as ABRP.
ABRP allows you to select your vehicle model, enter a destination, and get a full trip plan, including charging stops, total charging time, total trip time, and much more. You can use the app as your main navigation interface via CarPlay, allowing you to see your plan in real-time. This can factor in changes, traffic, and other things that might affect your route and charging plan.
If you don’t want to use ABRP for navigation, you can create your plan in ABRP, then use a different app for navigation to each of the ABRP stops, like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze. Having all of this information accessible via CarPlay is a huge help while driving. You can also view a report after your trip that breaks down the drive time, charging time, and how they compare to the planned estimates.
ABRP is a free download with a $4.99 per month subscription ($49.99 per year) to unlock full functionality. If you’re an EV driver, this is the easiest $5 a month you can spend, in my opinion.
- App Store: A Better Route Planner
Electrify America is the largest alternative to Tesla’s Supercharger network, offering nearly 800 charging stations across the United States. The company offers a CarPlay app that makes it easy to find Electrify America charging stations nearby; the app can also route you directly to those charging stations.
In addition to helping you locate charging stations, the Electrify America app also presents some information about those stations. This includes things like the number of chargers available, charging speeds, the available connector types, pricing, idle fees, and more. There are also filtering options available for most of these things as well. For instance, you can filter nearby charging stations to show only chargers that have charging speeds of a certain threshold.
Additionally, you can use the Electrify America app via CarPlay to pick a specific stall at the charging location and initiate charging. This unlocks more of a “plug-and-play” style charging experience and means you don’t have to use your iPhone to do it.
Unfortunately, as of now, the Electrify America app for CarPlay doesn’t show any information while your car is charging. You’ll have to jump to your car’s native charging interface to do this or use the Electrify America app on your iPhone. The CarPlay app will, however, tell you when your car is done charging.
- App Store: Electrify America
ChargePoint is similar to Electrify America in that its app is focused on its own network of chargers. Therefore, many of the same features that are available in Electrify America app for its chargers are also available in ChargePoint for its network: finding nearby chargers, filtering those locations, favoriting chargers, and more.
ChargePoint also offers a similar “Start Charging” button for its network of chargers via CarPlay. The app will contact the charger, start the session, then prompt you to plug in your car. Charging will then start without any further interaction from you.
- App Store: ChargePoint
PlugShare s a popular third-party service that aggregates electric vehicle charging stations across all networks and types. It’s by far the most powerful platform for locating charging stations of all types, ranging from 120V outlets in random locations to Electrify America and Tesla Supercharger information.
The CarPlay app for PlugShare offers many of the same features as the PlugShare app for iPhone. You can view nearby chargers with in-depth details on things like the number of stalls, plug types, and more. PlugShare will also show the average review score from other PlugShare users for a charging location, which can help you weed out locations that aren’t currently working.
- App Store: PlugShare
If you’re an EV driver, you’re likely familiar with the process of trying to find a parking spot at your final destination that offers EV charging. This is especially useful if you know you have a long drive after you finish doing whatever you’re doing at that location, as you can return to a car that’s fully charged.
SpotHero is a CarPlay app that include the ability to filter parking locations based on the availability of EV chargers. Using this, you can ensure that your parking garage or parking location will have EV chargers available.
- App Store: SpotHero
These are just a handful of the EV apps that are available via Apple’s CarPlay platform. Here are some of the others:
We’ll continuously update this list as more apps are released. Do you have any CarPlay apps for EVs that you like? Let us know down in the comments.
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What app do I need to charge my electric car? ›
Zap-Map app – iOS and Android
The Zap-Map app helps EV drivers to search for available charge points, plan longer electric journeys, share updates with the EV community and pay for charging on participating networks.
The PlugShare release includes new features specifically designed for easy use when connected to CarPlay through an EV's built-in display.What does Apple CarPlay do? ›
CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while you drive. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and enjoy your favorite music. All on your car's built-in display. And CarPlay now features more app categories and custom wallpapers for your CarPlay Dashboard.How does ChargePoint work? ›
Using ChargePoint DC fast charging stations is as easy as using our public AC stations. All you have to do use your ChargePoint account to activate the station, plug-in your vehicle and charge. Fast charging doesn't replace AC charging, but it's a great option for when you are short on time or traveling long distances.Can I charge my EV without an app? ›
Most EV drivers plug-in to a chargepoint whenever they park to stay topped up. Sometimes drivers need to charge en route, using higher powered chargers. Depending on the location, you can start charging simply by plugging in, or by using an app, contactless card or RFID card.Does Waze have EV charging? ›
Waze adds EV chargers to its app, joining Google and Apple Maps.What apps will work with CarPlay? ›
- Navigation apps include Apple's Maps and Google Maps, Waze, TomTom, TMap, 2GIs, KakaoNavi, and Navitime.
- Music apps such as Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, LiveXLive, Radio Disney, Tidal, and SiriusXMRadio connect to CarPlay.
PlugShare is a free EV driver's app for iOS, Android, and web, allowing users to find charging stations, leave reviews, and connect with other plug-in vehicle owners.Can you use any app on CarPlay? ›
CarPlay works with select third-party apps that you download to your iPhone. Compatible apps—including audio, navigation, messaging, and voice-calling apps, and apps made by your vehicle manufacturer—show up automatically on CarPlay Home and can be controlled with Siri.Does Apple CarPlay have a monthly fee? ›
There is no additional cost for Apple CarPlay®. It comes standard when purchasing eligible vehicles.
What is the difference between CarPlay and Apple CarPlay? ›
The current Android Auto interface only shows a single app on the car's screen, with no option to multitask. CarPlay, on the other hand, has offered a dashboard UI since iOS 13, which consolidates music, maps, and Siri suggestions into a single screen.Is ChargePoint still free? ›
You can sign up for a free ChargePoint card online or via our ChargePoint mobile app.What does it cost to use ChargePoint? ›
Most ChargePoint stations that you have to pay for will have rates between $4 and $5 per hour. Some stations have a charging rate-per-minute. It just depends. Some ChargePoint stations have additional fees in place to prevent drivers from staying parked at the stations for too long.Does ChargePoint cost money? ›
ChargePoint is a brand found at retail locations for the most part. While some companies absorb the cost, ChargePoint will charge $10 to your card at signup if it isn't free. This replenishes every time you get below $5. Tesla also has Tesla-brand charging stations, but the costs vary widely based on location.Do electric cars stop charging when full? ›
When you plug in your electric car, the charger “fills it up” to 100%, then stops. Once fully charged, there is no need to leave the car plugged in anymore.What is the cheapest way to charge an electric car at home? ›
Charging at home
If you have a driveway or garage, the cheapest and most convenient way is to install a dedicated chargepoint.
If you don't have a driveway, you'll need to find an area in front of your property as short a distance as possible to run the charging cable from the house or your dedicated outdoor charge point to reach your EV.Does Google Maps have EV routing? ›
Electric vehicles use the least power in basically the opposite situation: low-speed stop-and-go traffic. Google Maps' newest feature will let you pick your car's engine type, with "Gas," "Diesel," "Electric," and "Hybrid" available as options for the eco-route planning to consider.Does Google Maps show EV charging stations? ›
If you drive an EV, you'll be able to filter charging stations to find the most time-efficient option. So, if you search for a “charging station” in Google Maps, for example, a new option appears that allows you to filter out to show only “fast charge” stations that are compatible with the plug your car uses.Does Google have free EV charging? ›
Google says it will have 450 free charging stations on campus and will expand its plug-in fleet with Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs to help jump-start electric vehicles.
What app do I download for Apple CarPlay? ›
You don't install apps specifically into CarPlay. Instead, apps on your iPhone that are compatible with CarPlay appear when you use the feature. CarPlay works with many of the apps built into iOS, including Phone, Messages, Music, and Maps.How do I install CarPlay apps? ›
Go to Settings > General, then tap CarPlay. Select your car. Then tap Customize. Tap the Add button or Delete button to add and remove apps.How do I add third party apps to Apple CarPlay? ›
- Open iPhone Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap CarPlay.
- Select your car for settings specific to it.
- Tap Customize.
- Use the plus sign (+) or minus sign (-) to add or remove apps.
- Tap and drag apps to change the order they appear on the CarPlay screen.
In addition to having more cash, ChargePoint is also the cheaper stock, at 17.5 times sales, versus 26.2 for Blink.Is ChargePoint cheaper than gas? ›
In general, charging an EV is approximately 3.5 times cheaper per mile than the cost of fueling a gas-powered car. Based on driving a compact sedan, you will pay approximately $0.04 per mile to charge your EV compared to $0.14 to fuel your gas-powered car.How do I get Apple CarPlay for free? ›
Is Apple CarPlay Free? Another great thing about Apple CarPlay is that it comes preinstalled as a free feature in new vehicles, and the only cost is your phone's regular data plan.How can I use Apple CarPlay for free? ›
CarPlay itself doesn't cost you anything. When you're using it to navigate, message, or listen to music, podcasts, or audio books, you might use data from your phone's data plan.Does Apple CarPlay use a lot of data? ›
Apple CarPlay does use your data and this is something you'll want to factor in if you're renewing your phone contract. How much data you'll use depends on what you do – nav tends not to be too data intensive, but streaming lots of music at a high sound quality will quickly eat through your data.Is Apple CarPlay better than navigation? ›
If you want a system that's easy to use and offers a lot of flexibility, go with Android Auto. If you want a user-friendly system with great navigation features, go with Carplay. Whichever system you choose, you can be sure that you'll get an excellent infotainment experience!Do all iphones work with CarPlay? ›
Apple CarPlay® is available on all iPhone 5 and later with at least iOS 7.1.
Should I use CarPlay or Bluetooth? ›
Perhaps most importantly, Apple CarPlay allows you to use Siri. This gives you truly hands-free control over your phone, so you can keep your eyes on the road. With Bluetooth, you still have to perform a lot of functions manually. This is less convenient, and it can also distract you from your driving.How do I pay to charge my electric car? ›
Tesla Model 3
Public charging stations offer a range of ways to pay, often via a special card or payment app on your phone. That said, many chargers increasingly feature contactless technology, meaning you can pay with an ordinary debit or credit card.
Download the Tesla app (version 4.2. 3 or higher) for iOS or Android and create a Tesla Account. Select 'Charge Your Non-Tesla' and find your Supercharger site. Add your payment method, plug-in your car, select a stall and tap 'Start Charging.Is there a charging station app? ›
Plug Share is basic for electric driving. It's the leader in car charging apps, letting you know at a glance where the nearest charging station is. The future of electric driving depends on an extensive publicly accessible charging infrastructure, and PlugShare is the way to connect to it.Who has the best EV charging technology? ›
- EVBox. EVBox might just be the largest network of electric vehicle charging stations in the world. ...
- BP Pulse. ...
- Tesla. ...
- GRIDSERVE Electric Highway. ...
- Shell Recharge. ...
- Hyundai. ...
Google Maps got a big update that shows where fast-charging EV stations are and more. Google Maps was updated to show “fast charging” options when looking for a station to charge your EV.Does Apple Maps show charging stations? ›
When you get driving directions, Maps can track your vehicle's charge. By analyzing elevation changes along the route and other factors, Maps identifies appropriate charging stations along the way. If you drive until your charge gets too low, you're offered a route to the nearest compatible charging station.Is it cheaper to charge an electric car at home or at a charging station? ›
Most charging stations will charge by the kilowatt-hour (kWh) when it comes to the charging rate. Compared to charging your car at home, it is more expensive to charge it in public charging stations. At home, it would averagely cost twelve cents per kWh.What is the cheapest way to charge an electric car? ›
The cheapest way to charge your electric vehicle would be to rely completely on free charging points, but this might not be the most convenient. You'll often find that only slow or fast chargers are free of charge, and you might not fancy hanging around in public for long enough to get a full charge on a regular basis.How much will electric car tax be? ›
The current levels, which are pegged at 2% for zero-emission cars until 2025, will rise by a maximum of 1% per year from 2025 to 2028.
How to get free charging Tesla? ›
If you took delivery of a new Tesla vehicle from Dec 15 - 31, 2022, you may have 10,000 miles of free Supercharging. Note: These miles expire two years after your delivery date and are not transferable to another vehicle or owner. To check if you have free, unlimited Supercharging, open the Tesla app.How much does it cost to fully charge a Tesla? ›
It costs $13.96 on average to charge a Tesla. Depending on the car model, it costs between $9.62 and $18.30. In general, the cost of charging a Tesla is 3.6 times cheaper per mile than the cost of fueling a gas-powered car (4.56 cents per mile compared to approximately 16.66 cents per mile for gas vehicles).Is Tesla charging free in USA? ›
No, it isn't free to charge a Tesla at a charging station. Charging your Tesla at a Supercharger comes with a price, typically around 26 cents per kWh. This is often more expensive than using a different means of charging, such as a 120-volt or 240-volt outlet.Do you have to Pay for PlugShare? ›
Pay for a charging session with your credit card by following these steps: Launch the PlugShare application. If you don't already have it, download the free app for Android or iPhone. If you are located at a charging station that supports Pay with PlugShare, tap the alert that appears at the bottom of the map.How can I charge my phone without a charger app? ›
- Use a USB Port to Charge Your Phone.
- Charge Your Phone With a Battery Pack.
- Hand-Crank Chargers for Emergency Phone Charges.
- Use an Eco-Friendly Solar-Powered Charger.