If you have an electric car, you should always plan your trip – whether it’s a long distance or just around town.
For longer road trips, you probably want a spot to charge in the fastest way possible. DC charging stations help EV drivers to take a break and charge their cars in 30 minutes. On the other hand, for short local trips, most EV drivers seek public charging stations where they can charge their electric cars and do their grocery shopping, get a coffee, eat or shop at the same time. For this reason, we see more and more public charging stations near shopping malls, cafes and restaurants and chain grocery stores.
On the freeway or city streets, most EV owners are looking for charging convenience. However, the charging costs of public charging points vary considerably. Some charging networks even offer free charging in various locations.
So, what’s the best way to find your most convenient, lowest-cost public charging station? Here’s a quick look at your options.
- Charging Network Applications: This may be the easiest way to find no-cost charging stations with something to do nearby. Some of the networks have free charging stations along with the paid stations. However, it is good to know that the free charging stations are usually located where there are other things to make use of your free time.
- Car Manufacturer Applications: Car companies are increasingly providing mobile apps and in-car solutions for locating charging stations and paying for them.
Tesla has a clear advantage in this regard; it runs its own charging stations, with thousands of locations. Tesla owners looking to charge their electric cars can use an app or their car’s infotainment system to see if any charging stations are available and plan routes that allow recharging.
BMW owners, meanwhile, can search for public chargers through the BMW Charging app.
Some automakers are creating their own networks of charging stations by partnering with existing providers and giving them a new name. This is their way of making charging convenient without the need for a huge infrastructure. The FordPass charging network, for example, will include 16,000 stations operated by several charging network companies.
As an electric car owner, you could find your best charging options by keeping all these different applications on your mobile device. But that’s probably not the easiest way to find the charging stations with the right combination of low/no cost and nearby activities.
For that, you can just get the Bluedot app! With many more electric vehicle charging stations in the planning, Bluedot shows you the best spots for charging and gives cash back for every charging activity you have with us.