The slogan of ‘Go Green’ is consistent all around the world because of the carbon emission and harm being caused to the environment. One of the biggest steps in saving the environment is the prevalence of electric vehicles (EV). These vehicles are gaining popularity over the last few years for several reasons, such as they emit zero carbon and don’t pollute the environment, save energy and fuel, are cost-efficient, etc. 

Electricity is the fuel for electric vehicles. So, for charging these vehicles, there are electric vehicle charging stations, the way there are petrol and diesel stations for the current cars we use. Whenever the electric vehicle discharges or is about to discharge, the car owner needs to find the nearest charging station for refuelling it. 

Since the EV charging stations are still in a lesser number and are hard to find, businesses are investing in the EV charging station finder app development. By developing an mobile application for electric vehicle charging, it can be made easier for car owners to find the nearest charging stations, make the payment right through the app, book a charging slot in advance, and more. 

These apps are among the fastest-growing trends in the app market because the concept is new, and people are looking out for such solutions. 

Let’s discuss and understand exactly what an EV charging app is, how it works, why to invest in an EV charging station app development, key features to integrate, and how much it costs to create such an application. 

What is Electric Vehicle Charging App?

This is a mobile app for the owners of electric vehicles to find the nearby charging stations for their cars or other vehicles. It is a flexible application that helps in looking out for the charging stations according to the location of the user, booking slots available at the nearby station, waiting time, charging fee, and many more aspects. 

For instance, there are five EV charging stations within the range of 5 miles; the car owner can choose to get his vehicle charges from the station that offers the best service in terms of payment, waiting time, and other factors. Moreover, he can pay for the charging right from within the app. If a nearby station remains crowded, the user can also book a charging slot in advance using the app. It will save him from waiting in the long queues at the EV charging station.

Working of EV Charging Locator App

The working of an EV charging stations finder app is quite simple. 

  • The user or the car owner registers on the app with his email address, phone number, password, or quickly with a social account.
  • After registration, the user needs to enter his location or allow the app to access the geolocation. This will help in showing the nearby charging stations according to the location of the user.
  • User browses the nearby locations, see important information about the station, like pricing, photos, description, compatible EV, availability, etc. 
  • Based on the preferences, the user can book a slot in advance to save time. Or he can visit the station and get the vehicle charged.
  • If the user has booked the slot through the app, he can monitor the charging level and progress in the app. 
  • The user views the amount to be paid and can pay right through the app or to the charging station. 

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Evolution of Electric Vehicle Market

Over the last few years, the EV market has witnessed significant development, primarily because of the rapid technological advancements in the automotive industry. These include smart cars, GPS technology for navigation, predictive automobile technology powered by the internet of things (IoT) and machine learning, etc. 

In addition, governments around the world are looking for eco-friendly solutions. This has made them show more interest in electric vehicles and EV charging station applications. For instance, the developed countries like Germany, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden are leading the charge in terms of favouring electric vehicles. 

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The leading players in the EV automobile market include Tesla, BYD, BMW Group, Nissan Motors, and Volkswagen AG. 

Why Invest in EV Charging Stations App Development?

There are several benefits of developing an EV charging app, mainly because it is still an untouched point in the market and the competition is low. Following are some crucial electric vehicle market statistics and growth expectations that you must know:

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  • The electric vehicle market worldwide is expected to witness a growth of 26.8% year over year from 2021 to 2030. The number of EV units in 2021 is over 4,093k. By 2030, this number will reach 34,756k.
  • Another report by Meticulous Research says that the electric vehicle market globally will grow at 33.6% year over year from 2020 to cross $2,495 billion by 2027.
  • Talking about the publicly accessible EV charging points, there were over 1.3 million chargers globally in 2020. One-third of these were fast chargers. As electric vehicles become more prevalent and mainstream, the number of charging stations will significantly increase.
  • When it comes to India, the EV market in the country was valued at $5 billion. Growing at a massive CAGR of 44% from 2021 to 2026, the value of the market will be over $47 billion by 2026. 

These stats prove that the market for electric cars and vehicles is indeed growing at a fast pace. The primary reasons behind this rapid growth are the need for low emission transportation and the initiatives by governments to support zero-emission vehicles via tax rebates, subsidies, etc. 

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As the number of electric vehicles increases, the presence of EV charging stations will also grow. Most of the vehicle owners will look out for mobile app solutions that can help in finding the right charging stations for them. In fact, there are numerous EV charging applications already available, grabbing a big share in this field. 

The competition is certainly low, and the app idea is not that common. By investing in EV charging app development, you can take a big step for the future and run a profitable business. 

Popular Apps for Finding EV Charging Stations

A number of mobile apps are already available in particular markets to offer a convenient charging station for electric vehicle owners. Here are some of the top players you must know:

PlugShare

The PlugShare app has listed over 300K charging points globally. Vehicle owners can browse quickly by applying filters, check info, rate their experience, share photos, etc. Available for both iOS and Android users, PlugShare is more prevalent in Europe and North America. 

NextCharge

This app has listings of more than 200K charging stations. Available in several languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, and Romanian, it offers an improved and native user experience. People can get it for both iOS and Android. 

ChargePoint

ChargePoint is not only a charging points app but also a vast network of over 114K stations. The app shows only its own charging points. This means that stations from other networks can’t be listed on this app. 

EV owners can use filters, book online slots, show cost estimation, etc. It is up for download on both Android and iOS. 

Chargemap

Chargemap is one of the leading players in Europe, having more than 166K charging stations. Along with offering EV charging services, it also allows users to interact within the app, build communities, and seek support. It's available for both iOS and Android.

ChargeHub

Another popular app for finding EV and Tesla charging stations, ChargeHub is more prevalent in the US and Canada. Formerly called EV Charger Locator, this application has all the essential features, with Play Store and App Store availability. 

What Makes EV Charging Station Location Finder App So Popular?

If you are looking to start an electric vehicle charging station business, then your first move must be to start with an online presence. For this purpose, you can get an EV charging station locator application developed and reach more EV users or drivers efficiently. The app will bring in more customers, entice them, and generate high revenue for your business. 

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The app will save electric vehicle owners from standing in long queues at the charging stations. They can easily use your app to choose a preferred time slot for charging and get their vehicle charged by reaching the charging station on time. There is no need to wait in a queue, which saves them a lot of time. 

Along with these, electric vehicle owners will find plenty of more benefits with an EV charging station app. With the application, you will be able to keep a track of several crucial statistics and analytics for your EV charging station business. These stats and analytics include profits earned per day, total consumption of electricity daily/weekly/monthly, information of the vehicle owners, centralized payment details and transactions, etc. 

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Moreover, if there are any issues with the charging station or your service, the customers can connect with you through the app and seek support. 

Business Model of EV Charging Station App

When you think about a business idea, it is important to know about the monetization opportunities or how to make money with the final product. Let’s discuss and understand the primary ways to monetize an EV charging station mobile app. 

Paid/Sponsored Ads

You can allow other relevant businesses to show their promotional content or ads on your app. It is one of the best ways to monetize your application. You can display their ads and charge them for the number of impressions, clicks, etc. 

Most of the electric vehicle charging apps don’t charge their users for utilizing the app. In such a business model, showing promotional content can help you generate good income. It can prove to be a smart monetization method because many businesses are looking out for marketing and advertising through popular apps.

Membership fee

You can ask for a reasonable amount from the app user for the services and benefits you are providing. An EV charging station locator app certainly brings numerous advantages to the users. So, you can bring a subscription model to your mobile application. 

With this, you can charge some fee from users on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. So, whenever new users become a member, you earn some profits. Moreover, the renewal amount from existing users will also add to your revenue.

Features to Integrate into EV Charging Stations App

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  • User Sign-Up: After downloading and installing the app, the user needs to register into the app with his phone number, email address, and password. To make this process more efficient and quicker, you can allow them to register with their Google Account or other social media handles.
  • Profile creation: The user can edit his profile and make changes to it. For instance, he can add his name, vehicle model and number, profile photo, etc.
  • Geolocation: In order to show the nearby charging stations, the app needs to access the location of the user’s smartphone. Additionally, if a user wants to search the chargers available in an area manually, he should be able to enter the preferred location and see the right options.
  • Nearby charging stations: Based on the location accessed by the app or entered by the user, the mobile app will show the charging stations closest to the user. The aim of showing closest stations is to help users save time and power required to visit a station for charging.
  • Station details: While browsing the nearby EV charging stations, the app should show the relevant information about the specific stations. This information can include the name of the station, the car models compatible with the station, pricing, address, photos, reviews and ratings, etc. It will help users to get the charging done from their preferred station.
  • Slot booking: After deciding the charging station through the app, the user can book a time slot in advance to get his car charged. This is a handy feature meant to save a lot of time for the user, especially when the stations remain crowded. The advance booking through the app will prevent him from waiting in the long queues.
  • Rating & review: After getting their EV charged, the car owner can rate their experience and write a review about the station. The ratings and reviews help other users to know the quality of service and other aspects of a station. If you share a negative review, the station can work on improving the required things.
  • Multiple payment options: You must integrate multiple payment methods in your EV charging station locator app so that users can make payment with their preferred method. For instance, you can allow them to pay with a debit/credit card, PayPal, UPI, e-wallet mobile apps, etc.
  • Billing history: It is important for car owners to know the power they consume and the cost they spend on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. For this, the app should have a feature to track the bookings with power charged and the amount of payment made by the user.
  • Notifications: The app should send alerts or notifications to the users about nearby charging stations, new offers available, reminders about the advance booking, as well as when a new charging station is added to the app for the user’s preferred location.
  • EV trip planner: If a user is planning a road trip for a long distance, he will need to get his vehicle charged at multiple points. So to make things convenient for the user, you can integrate a trip planner feature that allows users to enter the starting and destination point of their trip. The app will then show all the charging stations available on the entered route.
  • Filters: While searching or browsing the charging stations, users can apply filters to find the right station. This is an advanced feature that users like because it saves a lot of time. For instance, if there are several stations available in an area but not all of them are compatible with the vehicle of the user, then the user can apply the required filters and see only the suitable stations. The filters can be applied for charging point compatibility, power level, network, fast or slow charger at the station, etc.
  • AI-based Chatbot: Smart chatbots make the lives of your users easier by providing them support and answering their queries whenever required. On the basis of common questions of the people, the chatbot can answer effectively. The queries that the chatbot can’t answer can be transferred to a human support executive.
  • Reward points: For using your app more frequently, you can give some reward points to the users in the form of discount vouchers, promotional coupons for their next charging, free membership for a month, or any other benefits. The reward points help you build loyalty among customers and attract more users to the app. 

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Essential Tech Stack For Electric Vehicle Charging Point App 

The electric car charging apps usually need a robust tech stack and modern technologies like the internet of things (IoT), cloud services, and more. Here is a brief overview of the required tech stack:

Feature/Function Tech Stack
Verify Mobile No. Twilio, Nexmo
Notifications Push.io and Twilio
Payment methods Stripe, UPI, PayPal, etc
Cloud services Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud
Database MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis
Analytics Kafka, Spark, Flink, Hadoop
Framework jQuery, Flutter, Laravel
Server Apache, Tomcat, NGINX

How to Develop EV Charging Station Finder App?

For electric vehicle charging mobile app development, you can follow the step-by-step process mentioned below:

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  1. Market research: You must start with researching the market to understand the opportunities available, expectations of your target audience, existing competitors, and much more. Before development, you should know how many EV charging points are there in the region, the number of electric vehicles, future scope, etc. Analyze the existing EV charging apps and how they work. Understanding all these factors is crucial for the success of your app.
  2. Decide features: You can go ahead with the app development with the features we mentioned above. These include both essential and advanced features that improve user experience and meet their expectations. Some advanced and unique features in your app will help you stay competitive in the market and drive new users.
  3. Finalize platforms: Based on your market research, you will know whether the majority of the target audience uses Android or iOS. You can get the app developed for both operating systems and make it available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. But if only a negligible part of your audience uses iOS, then you would be better with Android only.
  4. Find app development company: The working, performance, user experience, user interface, etc., play a significant role in the success of any kind of mobile app. To ensure that your app is robust and high-performing, you must lookout for a reliable app development company having experience in creating such apps. In addition, look for a company that can also handle UI/UX design and app testing. This will save your time as you get a one-stop solution to bring your business idea to action.
  5. App testing: This is the final phase before the app is deployed and made ready for launch. A team of testers will use their methodologies and tools to find and fix the bugs in the app that remain during the development. Without fixing these bugs and flaws, the users will face several issues and may abandon your app. So, ensure that your app is tested well before release. 

Cost to Create EV Charging Station Locator App

Jumping to the last question: how much does it cost to develop an app like ChargePoint, PlugShare, or ChargeMap?

Well, the total cost of developing such an app depends on some important factors. The influential factors are the region of the app development company chosen by you, features you want to integrate, platforms decided (Android, iOS, or both), and the app complexity.

Regardless of the factors, the average cost of an electric vehicle charging point app development will be somewhere between $10,000 to $40,000. 

Wrapping Up:

Hope this write-up helped you learn about the various aspects of the EV charging stations app. If you are looking to invest in such an idea, you must know about the working of the app, business model, top competitors, user expectations, market trends, and required costs. 

For any other doubts or queries related to the topic, feel free to connect with our experts or write in the comments below. 

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Arun Goyal

Managing Director @ Octal IT Solution, a prominent Mobile App Development Company offering cutting-edge iPhone App Development and Android App Development services to Startups, SMEs and Fortune-500 Companies.

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