Three Very Different Approaches to Home EV Charging Apps

Three Very Different Approaches to making home EV charger apps

I have personally tried and tested more than sixteen EV home charging stations (EVSEs). Two more are currently being tested, and there is at least another one waiting inside a box. So. Many. EV Chargers… I’ve learned a lot about what makes a product easy to use and live with, and helped brands with feedback on hardware improvements and identifying software bugs.

There are many excellent hardware options for home charging stations out there, so brands are trying to compete with software and app access on the higher end of the market. Whether you need an Internet-connected EVSE is another question, some folks are perfectly happy with a simple charging station and let their EVs handle scheduling and monitoring.

Throughout my testing, I found three very distinct approaches that brands take when designing their home EV charging apps. Understanding these differences may help you find the product that works best for your intended use case.

1. Public Charging Network with a Home Charging Product

Companies like ChargePoint, FLO, and Electrify America operate large public charging networks, and their mobile apps are the main method of activating a new charging session. Most of these companies also offer a home charging station product that pairs with the same app. This is very convenient if you already frequent their public charging stations out on the road, a single app can be used to handle the majority of your charging needs.

The downside is that these companies usually prioritize the feature set and UI elements to cater to their main business model, which is public charging, while the home charging features are tucked away in another tab in the app. Similarly, tracking charging expenses will be very transparent on the public charging side, but estimating home charging costs is not a priority in the majority of these apps.

Flo App
FLO App, charging at home
ChargePoint app for Home use
ChargePoint App for charging at home

2. EV Chargers That are Part of a Larger Smart Home Ecosystem

A second category of home charging stations is made by an existing manufacturer of home automation products. For example, Leviton and Emporia offer a variety of connected smart home products like plugs, switches, solar controllers, and energy monitors. These companies offer home EVSEs that plug into that same home automation ecosystem and play nicely with other products from the same brand. This is extremely convenient for users who already have products from the same brand in their homes because devices can be grouped into schedules and scenes to work cohesively together. These apps offer a central dashboard where you can view all devices at a glance and toggle them individually too.

However, the downside to this approach is that the EV charging station is just one component of many devices the app is designed to handle. Although activation and scheduling are expected of all connected EVSEs, the products that are part of a larger smart home ecosystem often lack EV charging features found inside dedicated apps. For example, changing amperage modes, monitoring voltage, or estimating charging costs are features often missing from this category of apps.

My Leviton App for ev charging
My Leviton App for home charging
Emproa Energy App

3. Dedicated Home EV Charging Product and App

The third category of apps are from companies that only build home EV charging stations. Here more attention is paid to displaying detailed charging metrics and cost reporting. For example; EVIQO, Wallbox, and Autel have very sophisticated apps that cater to users who want to keep detailed tabs on their EV charging costs and performance.

The disadvantage here is that there are fewer integrations with external products and services. Also, really good dedicated home EV charging apps are harder to come by; only the better funded EV charger makers have the resources to make and maintain a polished app experience.

EVIQO app for ev charging
Autel app for home charging
Autel App
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