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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Why is it that every single app I've tried to use (on the rare occasions I travel any such distance that I'm going to need a public charger) are basically terrible? I'm talking about "generic" apps that provide you with a way of finding chargers, not the network-specific apps (which are just plain evil, so not worth even talking about)
  • First, most will only have all useful features if you pay a subscription. I use those apps once every 3 months at best. No way am I going to pay 50 quid for the privilege (looking at you, ABRP)
  • Secondly, very few have Carplay support (or I assume Android auto), which makes no sense (unsafe to use otherwise). And those that do are offer just a terrible experience, with just a list of chargers with precious little actionable info, terrible map integration, and just click-heavy interfaces.
  • Or they just cover the UK (looking at you, Zapmap)
What do you people use that you don't find just irritating after 5 seconds of use?

What I'm after in an app:
A. Makes it easy to find chargers nearby, that
1) match what my car can do (connector, speed), showing in a simple way the number of connectors, speed of the charger (so that I can visually differenciate the slow, rapid and fast ones), and if possible live status, and
2) I can use without needing a charge card, membership to yet-another-network, ie. with a simple phone app or (better) credit/debit card

B. Makes it easy to plan a route, with at least 2 alternatives, based on the same criteria as above

C. Good Carplay/Android Auto integration, meaning I can actually make use of it on the go, without having to stop on the side or the road and whip out a tablet (or worse, a computer)
 

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The answer is let Google do it. I wouldn't use any other service for planning walking vs public transport options, with live data etc. I hope they enter this space, including car telemetry.

Personally, I'm not so bothered about the payment side of things. I hope more companies will offer autocharge, like Fastned to and Gridserve are promising. Then it will take care of itself.

Agree about pricing. I'm happy to pay to support app developers, but some of the prices are quite high, when you compare with, say, a Netflix subscription. Still, I guess they may as well make their money from a few users paying high price, rather than lots of us paying 99p!
 

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Google maps via car play has some odd features though - most notably you can’t pinch to zoom. Or double tap to zoom in (or the same with two fingers to go out again). Presumably nobbled as a safety feature - though to press a button abs a zoom in/out button is surely worse?
 

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Renault Zoe ZE50 R135 Iconic
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I’m running the iOS 15 beta at the moment which claims EV routing is coming to Apple Maps “soon”. Not a moment too soon!
I am as well (latest developer beta), where did you see the claim about EV routing, please?
 

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EV routing is already in google - but only the version imbedded in the car (eg the volvo’s have it).

possibly being held onto by the google overlords to nudge car manufacturers to go down that route rather than CarPlay etc
 

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Why is it that every single app I've tried to use (on the rare occasions I travel any such distance that I'm going to need a public charger) are basically terrible? I'm talking about "generic" apps that provide you with a way of finding chargers, not the network-specific apps (which are just plain evil, so not worth even talking about)
  • First, most will only have all useful features if you pay a subscription. I use those apps once every 3 months at best. No way am I going to pay 50 quid for the privilege (looking at you, ABRP)
  • Secondly, very few have Carplay support (or I assume Android auto), which makes no sense (unsafe to use otherwise). And those that do are offer just a terrible experience, with just a list of chargers with precious little actionable info, terrible map integration, and just click-heavy interfaces.
  • Or they just cover the UK (looking at you, Zapmap)
What do you people use that you don't find just irritating after 5 seconds of use?

What I'm after in an app:
A. Makes it easy to find chargers nearby, that
1) match what my car can do (connector, speed), showing in a simple way the number of connectors, speed of the charger (so that I can visually differenciate the slow, rapid and fast ones), and if possible live status, and
2) I can use without needing a charge card, membership to yet-another-network, ie. with a simple phone app or (better) credit/debit card

B. Makes it easy to plan a route, with at least 2 alternatives, based on the same criteria as above

C. Good Carplay/Android Auto integration, meaning I can actually make use of it on the go, without having to stop on the side or the road and whip out a tablet (or worse, a computer)
And you expect it to be free, of course.

Why don't you just run one off yourself in your spare time?
 

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Renault Zoe ZE50 R135 Iconic
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I can’t find it in the release notes now but here’s a note on the Maps information page:

View attachment 148556
Found it, thanks. I wanted to check if they said anything about it being available in the UK (or even just outside the US), but the only note says:

Electric vehicle routing requires iPhone with iOS 14 and a compatible vehicle.
…which makes me wonder whether it’ll be a CarPlay-only feature

Also not listed yet on the regional availability page iOS and iPadOS - Feature Availability
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208 / '22 ID.3 Family
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First, most will only have all useful features if you pay a subscription. I use those apps once every 3 months at best. No way am I going to pay 50 quid for the privilege (looking at you, ABRP)
a) It’s a business with employees, not a charity.

b) It’s a monthly subscription that can be switched on and off. Just pay for a month as a when you need it. The past 3 months cost me £12.90.
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
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And those that do are offer just a terrible experience, with just a list of chargers with precious little actionable info, terrible map integration, and just click-heavy interfaces.
These are largely due to restrictions imposed by Apple / Google on what sort of interactions are possible on the car’s screen. Presumably in order to try and avoid the inevitable lawsuits that would follow if people were trying to do everything they can do on a phone, but on a product explicitly designed to be used whilst driving.
 

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Found it, thanks. I wanted to check if they said anything about it being available in the UK (or even just outside the US), but the only note says:



…which makes me wonder whether it’ll be a CarPlay-only feature

Also not listed yet on the regional availability page iOS and iPadOS - Feature Availability
'EV routing' as Apple calls it is a feature that they announced back in iOS 14 but has only ever been available to cars which have integrated with Apple (I think a BMW may have done this). It's basically non-existent because of this restriction - I think Apple wants to do live integration (battery charge etc) but the basic ability to toggle 'EV Mode' where Apple Maps won't show me bloody petrol stations all the time, never mind showing EV chargers.

It boggles my mind that this simple feature hasn't been implemented - given how 'green' Apple claim to be, I'm surprised they didn't just turn on 'show chargers' for everyone! Rant over!
 

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I suspect they could quite easily show you where the EV charging points were for a small improvement.

But for full integration they would need to know the state of charge and range of your car. I suspect that might be hard to get (for the app) via Carplay? May be wrong though...

A halfway point would be to do like ABRP do and input a SOC and model and let the app work it out etc..
 

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I suspect they could quite easily show you where the EV charging points were for a small improvement.

But for full integration they would need to know the state of charge and range of your car. I suspect that might be hard to get (for the app) via Carplay? May be wrong though...

A halfway point would be to do like ABRP do and input a SOC and model and let the app work it out etc..
Whilst SOC info would be great, the current mapping apps don't know the fuel-status of petrol cars so I don't think waiting is really needed. If you are looking to add a stop on your route, for example, on Apple Maps it pops up a simple choice and it wouldn't be hard to add EV Charger to this or replace 'petrol stations'

148891
 

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Like all of these sorts of things, probably the best way to help instigate improvements is to provide direct feedback - the more people that do that, the sooner it’s likely to happen.


148892
 

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Like all of these sorts of things, probably the best way to help instigate improvements is to provide direct feedback - the more people that do that, the sooner it’s likely to happen.

I've certainly done this as often as I can be bothered and encourage people to do the same! I even wrote to Tim Cook 'directly' with a terribly sycophantic email about how they can lead the salvation of the planet but no luck 🤷‍♂️
 
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