ChargePoint and PlugShare are two vehicle charging station locators. They both help customers find a quick and safe charging location while they’re on the move. All you need to do is download their app, and you’re on your way. But as the electric car industry is growing, you don’t want to get stuck behind a slow-moving technology company.
So the question is …. Which app is better? Let’s review each app individually and then compare our results.
ChargePoint allows you to find charging stations across North America and Europe. It is available for iPhones and Androids, so every person with a smartphone should be able to use it.
“Tap to Charge”
One of the best selling points of ChargePoint is the “Tap to Charge” feature. You simply put your phone against the charging station to start the charging process. This means if you have lost your RFID (or car charging dongle) or simply don’t want to fish for it in your car, all you need to use is your phone.
When you make an account, you add your bank account details to the app, so when you “Tap to Charge,” the software already has your details, making charging super easy and quick.
Find a Charging Station
The app contains a map, like google maps, but it shows you all the charging stations near you. The best bit about this feature is that it shows you which stations are in use and which ones are available. They will show you ChargePoint stations and other brands, too, so you can be sure they aren’t just funneling you towards their own product.
A strange subfeature of finding the charging station is the review aspect. Customers and other uses of ChargePoint can leave reviews of how good the station was. This could be useful if the station is broken, however, most stations will have the same useability.
With the reviews, you will receive a picture of where the station is located. This makes it easier to find the charging dock in unfamiliar areas.
Lastly, this feature also tells you how much each station costs to charge so that you can make an economic decision as well as a location decision.
Where Have I Charged?
On the map, you will see a car icon that represents your car. When you click on it, you can see how much charge your vehicle has left, how long it has been charging, and how many miles have been added.
You can continue to check on this icon or change the settings so ChargePoint will send you a notification, email, or text message when the car has finished charging.
You can check your charging history and compare how much you charge in your home and elsewhere. It even tracks how much those charges cost you.
Unlike ChargePoint, PlugShare is usable worldwide. It is also a free app that can be used on iPhones, Android, and the web.
PlugShare isn’t a charging station brand, and it recognizes that a lot of charging cars can only connect to specific stations. With this information, a lot of their features are designed to be compatible with any brand.
Some charging stations will only accept vehicles of the same brand; if your car falls into this category, then you will be happy to see PlugShare’s filter system, which allows you to remove stations that are not compatible with your vehicles.
You can also filter out stations that do not fit your preferences, like stations that will charge you extra for using it or residential locations which may make you feel uncomfortable to enter into.
If you plan on taking a road trip, this feature will help you plan your drive along chargeable routes. You can figure out how long your current charge will last and when your next top-up should be. Fully electric cars should take full advantage of this feature and never get stuck in the middle of nowhere, again!
Pay Through The App
Just like ChargePoint, PlugShare also has a feature that allows you to pay for the station through the app. Unlike ChargePoint, it doesn’t have the same simple touch feature.
Instead, it will enable you to pay with your credit card. The quality is designed so that non-members of a particular network can still use the charging station despite membership blockage.
Almost every part of PlugShare is designed to make your journey compatible with the variety of charging stations that different brands are creating, and this feature is a stand-out in that regard.
PlugShare has an inbuilt community network that allows you to message other drivers about public stations. If one has been vandalized or simply has broken, you can comment on the station and warn your other electric car enthusiasts to avoid that station. When new stations arise, you can also add them to the map.
This community is moderated so that breakages and additions can be tracked and confirmed, but the free app gets most of its information from public use.
Which Is Best?
Both apps are great and can be useful for any electric car user, however, I have to say that ChargePoint’s app is my favorite.
The ability to track your payments and compare your charges with your home prices can help you save money and become strategic with your station usage.
The “Tap to Charge” feature is super easy to use once you have it set up.
But most importantly, the “Find A Station” feature is more advanced than PlugShare as it will tell you if the stations are currently in use.