The three best apps for taking your electric car on summer holiday in Europe

Embarking on a European road trip in your EV? Navigate unfamiliar territories with our top three apps for your EV summer holiday for the best charging and driving experience throughout your adventure.

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Planning a summer holiday road trip across Europe in your electric vehicle (EV) means navigating charging stations and solutions across unfamiliar territories. True Energy’s staff have extensive EV-holiday experience. Here, we present their top 3 apps for keeping your electric vehicle charged and ready to roll throughout your European summer adventure and what factors to consider during the holiday. 

An EV app checklist

EV numbers are increasing throughout Europe. The same goes for charge networks and solutions providers. For EV owners, this can create a challenge: how do you find the best possible solution for your specific trip? 

The answer is that it depends on a lot of different factors, including: 

  • Where you are going: Including geography and what type of charge networks are available along your route and at your destination. 
  • Your vehicle: Some manufacturers (especially Tesla) have their own charging networks that you can consider.
  • EV compatibility: Not all charging stations are compatible with all EVs. 
  • Charging network coverage: The geographical coverage compared to your route and destination. 
  • Charging speed needs: Is rapid charging necessary for you everywhere you will go? 
  • Cost and payment plans: Some solutions may be cheaper with or without subscriptions. Some networks may offer flat rates, while others may charge per minute or per kWh. 
  • App features: Is the information real-time, including on charging point availability.
  • Payment: Is payment seamless, secure and transparent? 
  • Customer service: Is there a helpline that’s 24/7?
  • Perks: Some networks offer additional perks, such as discounts at nearby restaurants or stores, or free Wi-Fi while you charge.

True Energy’s recommendations

Let’s start with a hard truth: no single app or charging network is likely to meet all your needs perfectly. Therefore, it may be beneficial to consider accounts with multiple networks and different apps for your EV summer holiday to provide different insights. 

That said, we believe that you are going to need at least one app in each of the following categories:

Charge station finder

Selected app: PlugShare

Why we chose it: PlugShare offers probably the most comprehensive overview of charge stations in the world. The app covers many different charge networks. You can see all the charging stations near you, plan trips, and add your car model for more specific results. You can also check in to a station and add notes about things like whether the station is operating properly.

Alternatives: Other apps offer similar solutions, including ChargeHub, ABRP, or Plugsurfing. 

Charge network

Selected app/network: Ionity

Why we chose it: Ionity is a joint venture of BMW, Mercedes Benz, Ford, and Volkswagen Group including Audi and Porsche. Their app allows users to locate Ionity’s high-power charging stations across Europe. These stations are specifically designed for long-distance travel. All vehicles using Combined Charging System (CCS), the most widely adopted electric vehicle charging standard in Europe, are compatible with the network.

Alternatives: There is a vast range of alternative solutions, Shell, Elli, or, if you have a Tesla, the Tesla Supercharger network. 

Charge networka Ensure good charging manners

Selected app/network: NeedToCharge

Why we chose it: If you arrive at a charging station and find another car charging, knowing how long you might have to wait is worth its weight in gold. NeedToCharge is a way for EV owners to automatically let each other know how long a car is going to charge for – and that someone is waiting to use the charger after you. 

Get the best start and end to the EV holiday

Before going on holiday, you want to make sure that your home charging system is secured and easy to restart its day-to-day use when you return. We don’t want to blow our own horn, but we believe that True Energy’s app is one of the best in the world for this. With a couple of clicks, you can pause your charge plans and restart them on the day you get back form what we hope will be an amazing summer holiday.