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Which Route Planning App do you use?

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As far as I can see, there are several route planning apps out there that all do the same job:

ABRP
Plugshare
Wattsup
Zap-Map

Which one are you using and why?

I don't have my EV yet, but am getting a bit bewildered by the number of apps I have so far installed on my phone.
I just want to settle on one which works reliably with Android Auto, but which one...?
 

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In my view, ABRP is the only one I really consider a proper "route planner" as it’s the only one that can take into account things like traffic and weather conditions to tell you how far your car will be able to go before it needs a charge. As far as I can tell, with the others, you have to tell it how far your car can go - and that depends on the types of roads, elevation changes, traffic speeds, weather, payload etc - all stuff that ABRP can take into account for you.

I use ABRP to give me a plan for the journey I need to do, then use both ZapMap and PlugShare to just quickly check the status and reviews of the chargers suggested by ABRP. If any don’t look too good, I then tell ABRP to avoid them and replan.

I haven’t tended to use WattsUp much at all, but now it works on Apple CarPlay (and maybe also Android Auto) I intend to see if it could be of help when I get to next take a longer journey.

ABRP doesn’t yet work on Android Auto - it looks like it should be coming fairly soon though. I don’t think ZapMap does either. PlugShare has only in the last few days started working on CarPlay - not sure if it works on Android Auto though.
 

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Both ABRP and Plugshare. ABRP does better at calculation of routes, and Plugshare has a better database of charging stations.
 

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Because I haven't been on normal driving patterns yet because of lockdown, can't say as I have needed any of them in anger yet because I haven't been far enough to need to charge en route so the only rapids I have used are a couple of test uses and the local free one occasionally. But I have perused all of the apps for fun as it were.

ABRP is clearly the most sophisticated one as a route planner but I am not sure I would often plan to that level of detail in advance. Maybe use it to check out likely contenders en route beforehand but then handle the selection and routing to the one I need more manually. Plus its use on CarPlay is only when you have a subscription to the full version so I am not sure it is worth my while to pay.

Zap Map appears to be seen as the default standard 'find a charger' app in the UK but I believe that Zap Map and Plugshare are much of a muchness and both have their merits. As Plugshare can be used in the car on carplay, that is likely to be my number 1, at least until Zap Map offers the same.
 

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I haven’t tended to use WattsUp much at all, but now it works on Apple CarPlay (and maybe also Android Auto) I intend to see if it could be of help when I get to next take a longer journey.

ABRP doesn’t yet work on Android Auto - it looks like it should be coming fairly soon though. I don’t think ZapMap does either. PlugShare has only in the last few days started working on CarPlay - not sure if it works on Android Auto though.
On my Android phone I have:

Wattsup
ABRP
Plugshare

None route planners, but will guide to the charger:
InstaVolt
Electric Highway (rarely used)
Osprey (favourite)
Shell Recharge
PodPoint
GeniePoint

Sort of related:
What3words.

Whilst I have Android Auto I don't use it that much. The SatNav tends to suffice.

Missing is ZapMap as I don't like it. Looks like it was created back in the 80s and 90s.
 
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On my Android phone I have:

Wattsup
ABRP
Plugshare

None route planners, but will guide to the charger:
InstaVolt
Electric Highway (rarely used)
Osprey (favourite)
Shell Recharge
PodPoint
GeniePoint

Sort of related:
What3words.

Whilst I have Android Auto I don't use it that much. The SatNav tends to suffice.

Missing is ZapMap as I don't like it. Looks like it was created back in the 80s and 90s.
I generally prefer Plugshare too, but I haven't found a way to filter it to show ultra-rapid chargers only, whereas you can do that with Zap-map. So that's why I do still use Zap-map sometimes too.
 

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I use both ABRP and Zap-Map, though I find that ABRP will quite significantly overestimate how much charge I will use on a journey, where Zap-Map seems to overestimate sometimes and underestimates as well, sometimes on the same route!


ABRP is good as you can tell it what charger provider you prefer, so mine's set to Pulse as I have a subscription, and it will try its best to only route you to those ones.
 

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I generally prefer Plugshare too, but I haven't found a way to filter it to show ultra-rapid chargers only, whereas you can do that with Zap-map. So that's why I do still use Zap-map sometimes too.
I reckon the data on zapmap is probably better as I think it's better supported. If only I could read it better. It does something to my eyes that makes it difficult to read. It's like it was designed by someone from Sony back it the Wii days.
That being said I've found at least one wrong charger location (by quite a margin) on Plugshare.
 
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I’m afraid I can’t tell you which is the best but I can tell you that ABRP is actually quite bad in my experience, as well as very unintuitive to use. Why do I say it’s bad? Well, given the name, you would expect it to be really good at route planning but unfortunately it isn’t. Case in point. I was driving on the M4 today between Reading and Swindon, driving west. I decided to plan a quick trip to Bath. I had a more than sufficient SoC, so I could do the trip without a charging stop. However the route ABPR suggested was going to take 3:45 hours (to be fair, there was a road closure on the M4)! I decided to plan the same trip in Google Maps and that gave me a much more reasonable 1:44 hr trip, in line with what I expected. Furthermore, when you use the app on your iPhone, it uses Apple Maps to display the route, however when CarPlay is active, it uses something called MapBox. Why, I have no idea and what’s worse, when using ABPR (on CarPlay) to guide me during a trip, it didn’t give me proper advance warning on what lane to choose when junctions or turns are coming up. It also used a very bad robotic voice for guidance which was pretty much unintelligible. Apparently it is possible to change this but not in a way that you could easily find out yourself (like in settings in the app itself). It is a really poor experience compared to say Google Maps or even Apple Maps (which we all know isn’t exactly the best either). Honestly I don’t understand why ABPR is rated so highly and chosen by so many people as their app of choice. It is a very mediocre experience at best to me. Perhaps it is an indication of the infancy in which EV driving and everything in its periphery, is finding itself or people having really low standards… I’m not quite sure which :)
 

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Well, given the name, you would expect it to be really good at route planning
I don’t understand why ABPR is rated so highly and chosen by so many people as their app of choice.
To be fair, it’s called "A Better Route Planner", not "The Best Route Planner & Sat Nav"!

Fact of the matter is, most people consider it by far the best EV route planner there is (except maybe Tesla’s). ie. it’s better than the alternatives, but not necessarily perfect. It’s clearly not anywhere near the best Sat Nav app.

I tend to plan a route in ABRP (often with manual tweaks), then use ABRP to monitor the estimated arrival SoC, but then share the trip through to Google Maps / Apple Maps / Waze to deal with the navigation side of things.

148787


148788

It’s most definitely in its infancy. It was essentially cooked up originally by a few guys with EVs as a hobby and has only been around for 5 years in total. The SatNav function is much more recent than that. We can’t really expect it to offer Sat Nav abilities anything close to those offered by the likes of Google and Apple.
 

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To be fair, it’s called "A Better Route Planner", not "The Best Route Planner & Sat Nav"!
I don’t think I even insinuated that it was supposed to be the best, but there is “better” in the name, so it clearly strives to be better than others out there?… Or is that all in jest?
Just kidding, clearly it’s not better than any of the others in the navigation planning department 😀 (not in terms of finding the best route between point A and B).
I do understand that it probably grew as someone’s hobby project. I also understand that there is not a heck of a lot out there yet for EV drivers in way of quality and polished products, such as the likes of Google and Apple would stand behind. Apart from Tesla perhaps as you mentioned, but I have no experience with that, so can’t comment other than regurgitating other people’s opinions.
So any product that does a little more than just Apple or Google Maps for EV drivers specifically is appreciated but not to the detriment of the basics (I.e route planning).
I’m personally still waiting to have the EV planning functionality built into Apple Maps (Google Maps would be better still but haven’t heard anything about that yet) and made available in the UK, which I believe was announced now a year ago?
Thanks for pointing out that you can share routes with Google/Apple Maps but I wouldn’t want to share out a route that takes me twice as long.
All I’m saying really is that we should hold people/organisations that charge for a service (as ABPR does) to similar standards we are used to from say Apple/Google. At the very least I hope it encourages the developers to do better (no pun intended).
 

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All I’m saying really is that we should hold people/organisations that charge for a service (as ABPR does) to similar standards we are used to from say Apple/Google. At the very least I hope it encourages the developers to do better (no pun intended).
Yeah I do agree on that and I’ve said as much to them in feedback and on their own forums - ie. that when they were purely just a hobbyist organisation it was reasonable to expect people to be much more forgiving about bugs etc. But now that at least some of the users are paying customers, and have been a while now, they are rightly going to be held to a higher standard. In their defence though, I’m guessing the lack of travel last year especially probably set things back a bit - with less paying users than would otherwise have been expected, and therefore reduced ability to invest in improving and developing the product.

I guess also I see it as two separate things - the EV specific route planning/monitoring aspect (which is all it ever user to do when I started using it), and then the navigation / CarPlay aspect.

For the intelligent, accurate EV route planning side of things, there is nothing that comes close to it (well, I suppose ‎EV Navigation is slowly closing the gap a little). So in that respect, ABRP is technically better than the others (the others being the super basic planners in apps like PlugShare). As far as I know, even many Tesla owners make regular use of it because the Tesla planner is only available is you are sat in the car, and can’t do stuff like waypoints.

Once you’ve got it set up properly, especially if you are able to use it with live data from the car, and have the premium weather etc, then it’s scarily accurate. For me, it eliminates the need for any thought or potential for anxiety about range etc - even when conditions turn very wet and windy.

Most of the issues with it from my perspective are that it lacks a lot of polish, can be occasionally buggy still and relies heavily on third parties for charger data and stuff like info about road closures - and that isn’t always going to be up to the second accurate. So I just don’t rely on it for those things.

The navigation aspect of it is a sideshow as far as I’m concerned. I’ll often add several waypoints (and/or guidepoints too) to force it to calculate based on a particular route I want to follow. In other words, I sometimes use it to plan out and then monitor the EV consumption for the route that I want to take, rather than letting it pick the route.

On the sharing of routes, worth pointing out that currently at least you can share a complete route to Google Maps (ie. with various way points), but you can only share the next destination in the plan to Apple Maps or Waze. I think that’s a limitation of Apple and Waze though - which is a shame because Apple Maps really has improved hugely and is now my preferred navigation app.
 

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At home, I use Google Maps to get an idea of which is in theory the best/ fastest route (and see the other options it throws up).

Then ABRP to estimate how much battery it will use, and where it suggests I charge (if necessary) based on weather and terrain.

Then to Zap Map to see what that suggested charger is like, and choose a better option nearby. (Either more reliable, or with better facilities, or a better network - and no, the automated tools to do this don't work for me.)

Then to the car, I do the same as @BillN

Load up the destination on ABRP for real-time SoC monitoring, but I rarely use that for Nav unless I'm just on the motorway. I find the mapping crap, compared with Google or Apple.
 

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Thanks @Bill N and @mad_rich for the insights into your route planning practices. It seems to me that those are currently probably the best ways of dealing with the situation.
Its just a shame that this is where we are currently (having to juggle multiple apps and subscriptions! to achieve a single goal).
I think there is a lot of potential here for someone to come in and do something really compelling in this space (if someone isn't already...). Given that we have less than 8.5 years to go (if the current policy is being adhered to) before all new vehicles will be electric, it seems to me that there's a great business case to be made for some serious investments here.
It just baffles me that Apple and Google are not jumping on this bandwagon.

This should probably be a separate thread but @Bill N I noticed that you are currently driving a Peugeout e-208 and were driving the Hyundai Kona previously. May I ask what made you change to the Peugeot? Reason I'm asking is that I'm currently driving a Peugeot e-208 as well and will be trying out an e-2008 next month but have been eyeing the Kona as well, so interested to hear your experiences.
 

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I originally voted Plugshare on here 6 months ago because of its availability on CarPlay but to be honest, I never use it because the filtering possibilities are terrible. I now use ZapMap and as and when we return to driving regularly again for work, coming soon, I will be tempted to subscribe to their premium service so I can use it on CarPlay and avail myself of the additional filtering it provides, even though it's quite expensive.
 

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I think there is a lot of potential here for someone to come in and do something really compelling in this space (if someone isn't already...)
I don’t know, but my suspicion would be that some big players have looked at it and quickly realised it’s just such a minefield at the moment with so many variable that they just couldn’t hope to control or influence, and decided they basically need to wait a while longer until the charging networks, and probably actually national governments and bodies like the EU get their act together and put in place overarching systems with the necessary APIs or whatever to then allow third parties to draw upon info on new charger locations, power output, live usage, pricing etc etc.

Seems to me that ABRP are basically doing all that can done at the moment, probably on a bit of shoestring, but perhaps more significantly with the disjointed and partial datasets that anyone would have to work with currently. I think what needs to happen before the likes of Google or Apple could make any meaningful impact (beyond improving UI) is for the necessary raw data on chargers to a) be legally required to be made available and b) for national / continental systems and APIs to be out in place so that data can be used.

The car modelling / weather / traffic / routing stuff is presumably pretty simple stuff, relatively speaking. The main issue seems to be around getting all the info on chargers.
 

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I noticed that you are currently driving a Peugeout e-208 and were driving the Hyundai Kona previously. May I ask what made you change to the Peugeot? Reason I'm asking is that I'm currently driving a Peugeot e-208 as well and will be trying out an e-2008 next month but have been eyeing the Kona as well, so interested to hear your experiences.
Well…I disliked the Kona quite intensely by the time I got rid of it for various reasons. In brief, it just felt like quite a cheap, not very good to drive car with a big battery, it beeped way too much, charged slowly, and it just didn’t really suit me - felt like a white good. This thread on the Onto forum explains a little more!

 

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As far as I can see, there are several route planning apps out there that all do the same job:

ABRP
Plugshare
Wattsup
Zap-Map

Which one are you using and why?

I don't have my EV yet, but am getting a bit bewildered by the number of apps I have so far installed on my phone.
I just want to settle on one which works reliably with Android Auto, but which one...?
Have you tried evnavigation.com ? I know it is cliky (Pop-ups settings) after that it is precise and free.

Do you have any experince with it?
 

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Have you tried evnavigation.com ? I know it is cliky (Pop-ups settings) after that it is precise and free.

Do you have any experince with it?
They have an app too:

 
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