EV owners often use the Automaker smartphone app but are not very happy with it

According to a new JD Power survey, most EV owners use automaker smartphone apps to handle charging, but they’re not happy with them.

Among surveyed EV owners, 70% said they used at least one app on each drive to monitor the charging process and view the available range. And while most EV owners do most of their charging at home, 85% say they still want to show apps the available public charging stations if they need to.

Studies have shown that EV owners want more features – sometimes more than what automakers offer. Out of the 20 most common app features, 15 EVs are rated as preferred by owners. However, according to JD Power, only eight of these features were “widely available.”

Volkswagen's next-generation car-net

Volkswagen’s next-generation car-net

Research has found a significant desire for more advanced app features that most automakers still do not offer, but at least not related to phone-EV charging as a one-key.

In addition, 32% of respondents said they had never used an EV smartphone app because they did not know how the app works. So like other aspects of EV ownership, lack of dealership explanation can be a problem.

Even EV owners don’t want to pay for these apps, according to the survey. The primary reason cited by owners for not using another app is that their free trial has expired.

Revian R1S

Revian R1S

The top-rated EV apps in the study are FordPass, Tesla App, MyHyundai, Kia Access and Genesis Intelligent Assistant. Despite their high-tech image, Revian and Lucid have fallen short in charging performance, app speed and general content, according to JD Power.

Tesla has shown improvement this year. In last year’s edition of this study, Tesla (and Volkswagen) panned for a lack of route planning, as well as some diagnostic information about Tesla that could be found in other brands’ apps.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now electrify America

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now electrify America

Many automakers, surprisingly, have no choice but to move the charging devices from the phone to the car while traveling on the road trip. Electrify America last year introduced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Despite this complexity, the number of apps will not be less.

Not just automakers, but charging networks and other aggregators all want you to use their app while they drive. General Motors’ goal is to eliminate the clutter with “one-click” charging in charging networks through brand-specific apps for its EVs.

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