There’s another good reason to plug your Android phone into your car, assuming it’s electric, with ChargePoint bringing its charger-locating app to Google’s infotainment interface. The new integration sees ChargePoint’s EV charger database more easily accessible on the dashboard, something which could be a welcome sight should the power gauge on your car be unexpectedly low.
Many EVs offer charger search as part of their native infotainment system, including the ability to automatically add charging locations along a planned route. However not every electric vehicle – especially more affordable models – supports that system, or indeed the ability to see live status updates of the chargers themselves.
That’s where ChargePoint’s app particularly shines. It not only shows a map with nearby stations, with the ability to filter by charging speed and cost, but also knows whether they’re available, occupied, or out of service. It’s possible to filter by which chargers have open bays, and a “Notify Me” feature will send out a notification when an in-use charger becomes available again.
Addressing range anxiety continues to be one of the biggest challenges that EV manufacturers face, though the ways they’ve tried to do that have varied. Tesla, of course, went the whole hog and built out its own Supercharger network of charging points, so far exclusively for the use of its own EVs. Other automakers, however, have tapped existing networks of third-party chargers.
The FordPass Charging Network, for example, and GM’s Ultium Charge 360 announced yesterday, both rely on other charger providers. However the pitch is that actually finding and using those various chargers is more straightforward, as they’re collated into a single app or navigation interface. They also increasingly support things like starting a charging session through that interface too, rather than needing to have a different account with each provider.
We’ve previously seen ChargePoint release its app for Android Automotive OS, the embedded version of Google’s platform that some automakers are using to power their vehicles’ dashboards. That arrived first on the Polestar 2 EV. However this release for Android Auto – which will run on any Android 6.0+ device, including in a standalone mode for vehicles that don’t have native Android Auto support themselves – will bring the functionality to a far broader audience.
Tell the ChargePoint app what you’re driving, and it’ll also be able to filter out stations by compatibility with your particular EV. It also supports starting a charging session directly. It’s available in the Google Play store as a free download.