How to Develop an EV Charging Station Finder App
The electric car market has evolved dramatically in the last few years, thanks to continuing advancements in the automotive industry. In addition, the desire for electric vehicles has grown as governments worldwide become more environmentally conscious.
Also, some of the leading companies worldwide, such as Tesla, Nissan, BMW, and Volkswagen are contributing a lot to the electric vehicle industry.
Due to this, there is a constant need for electric charging stations in various locations. These stations are connected to the charging networks.
After buying an electric vehicle, people struggle to find the nearest EV charging station. But, the EV charging station finder apps have come as a savior. These apps allow users to locate nearby charging outlets. Moreover, users can also make payments and book a specific time slot for charging their vehicle.
If you are excited to develop an EV charging station locator app, then you have reached the right place.
In this blog, we will walk through various aspects of the EV charging station finder app development. It includes how it works, monetization models, key features, tech stack, and cost.
Before we move on, let’s go through the basics:
What is the EV Charging Station Finder App?
The EV charging station finder app is an application that helps users locate various charging stations in their area. This app informs users about the slot’s real-time availability and plug type. They can also make advanced slot bookings, view ratings, descriptions of charging stations and other details within the app.
Additionally, if users are riding, the app notifies them if an EV charging station is nearby so they don’t miss any opportunity.
How Does EV Charging Station Finder App Work?
Here is the streamlined process on how an EV charging station finder app works:
- Users must create an app account using their email address, phone number, and password. Besides this, they can also use third-party apps like Facebook or Google.
- After registering, users can give access to their location or enter their location name manually to find a nearby EV charging station.
- Users can search nearby locations and view station details, including available slots, reviews, pricing, images, operational hours, etc.
- After looking for slot availability, users can reserve a time slot and book in advance.
- Users can make payments through the app using multiple payment options such as credit/debit cards, Paypal, Crypto wallets, or other payment options.
- Users get notified about the latest updates through push notifications about payment confirmation, the latest offers, nearby charging stations, etc.
Why Should You Invest in an EV Charging Station Finder App?
There are various advantages to developing an EV charging station finder app. It is still a relatively untapped industry with little competition. Here are some of the key electric car market data and growth projections.
- According to MarketsandMarkets, the global market for electric vehicle charging stations is expected to increase from 2,354 thousand units in 2022 to 16,623 thousand units in 2027 by growing at a CAGR of 44.1%.
- As per Mordor Intelligence, the worldwide electric vehicle charging station market was worth USD 5.86 billion in 2022. It is predicted to be worth USD 53.25 billion by 2028.
- As per EV Box, global electric vehicle sales are estimated to exceed 12.2 million by 2025. And by 2030, it’s predicted that 58 percent of global passenger vehicle sales will come from EVs.
The above figures point to the rapid expansion of the electric vehicle market, which is set to become even more significant in the near future. This highlights the potential for business owners to achieve higher returns by investing in an EV charging station app.
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5 Steps to Develop an EV Charging Station Finder App
To make an EV charging station finder app, you need to understand the app development process. So let’s discuss all of the stages in brief.
Step 1: Do Market Research
Before diving into the development process, thorough research is crucial to understand the market, user needs and existing competition.
Start by defining your target audience. Are you targeting individual EV owners, commercial fleet operators, or a combination of both? Understand their preferences, pain points and expectations from this app.
Research the current state of the EV charging station industry. Identify key players, their strengths, weaknesses, and unique features. This analysis helps you identify gaps you can fill and improve your app.
By the end of the research, you will have data sources you can rely on.
Step 2: Define Essential Features
After conducting thorough research, start by compiling a comprehensive list of crucial features for delivering a seamless user experience.
These features include real-time location tracking of charging stations, up-to-date information on station availability, and pricing details, allowing users to make informed decisions.
Provide users personalized experience by implementing features that allow them to save their preferred stations, track their charging history, and receive relevant notifications. Integrate secure payment gateways for hassle-free transactions.
These features collectively contribute to an app that meets user expectations and differentiates itself from a competitive market.
Step 3: Design a User-Centric UI/UX
This step involves creating an exceptional UI/UX for an EV charging station finder app that users will love.
The UI of an app should be visually engaging that reflects the purpose of the app while providing a seamless journey for users. It’s important to maintain a consistent design language like buttons, icons, and visual elements should be easy to understand and interact with.
When designing the UX, streamline the flow of the app. Incorporate clear CTA such as “Navigate,” “Book,” or “Pay,” and consider integration user feedback to improve the app’s usability.
By prioritizing an intuitive and user-centric UI/UX design, you can ensure a satisfying experience for all.
Partnering with a professional mobile app design company is a strategic move as it helps you leave users a lasting impression of your app.
Step 4: Development of EV Charging Stations Finder App
This step involves turning your designs into a fully functional EV charging station finder app. You have to utilize the power of your chosen programming languages and development frameworks to build the front-end and back-end components of the app.
Front-end development involves implementing the designed UI/UX, which ensures users can seamlessly interact with the app’s features. Back-end development handles the logic required behind the app, managing data, user profiles, and payment systems.
It’s essential to ensure your app is responsive and compatible with different devices, including smartphones and tablets. As you progress, focus on regular testing and quality assurance to identify and address any bugs, glitches, or compatibility issues that may arise during development.
A meticulous attention to detail during this phase showcases your commitment to delivering a high-quality solution.
To ensure a high-quality application, it’s best to connect with a leading mobile app development company with prior experience in developing mobile apps.
Step 5: Testing and Launch
Testing is critical as it guarantees that your app performs flawlessly in real-world scenarios. Begin with comprehensive testing to identify and address any bugs, glitches, or inconsistencies in your app’s functionality.
Test various user scenarios and ensure the app’s user interface and experience align with user expectations with usability testing.
Enlist a diverse group of testers who represent your target audience and gather their feedback which can provide valuable insights for fine-tuning the app before launch.
Once you are confident in the app’s performance and usability, it’s time to prepare for the official launch. Ensure the app complies with the guidelines and requirements of app stores (such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store) during submission.
Once the app is live, closely monitor its performance for any potential issues that arise post-launch.
You can follow this app launch checklist to make sure that its launched perfectly and successfully
Main Features of an EV Charging Station Finder App
Here is the essential list of features to integrate into your charging station finder app to enhance the user experience.
1. Registration / Sign Up
A new user should sign up using their email address, phone number, and password to utilize an app. Moreover, you can allow users to sign up using their social media accounts, such as Gmail or Facebook.
2. User Profile
Users can alter and change their profiles. For example, they can include photographs in their profile, the vehicle’s number and model, and their name.
With this feature, users can access their smartphones in real-time to display the closest charging stations. In addition, users can manually search for charging stations in a given area by entering the address and seeing what possibilities are available.
Advanced filter options allow users to search based on their inputs. They employ several parameters to discover a quality service and save time for an electric car charging station.
5. Station Details
The app should display important information about the specific charging stations while searching nearby EV charging stations. This information can contain the station’s name, compatible car types, pricing, address, images, reviews, and ratings, among other things. It will make it easier for people to charge at their favorite location.
6. Charging Slot Booking
The app should allow users to book a time slot for charging their cars in advance.
7. Users Rating and Review
After charging a user’s electric vehicle, they can rate the charging station based on their experience. It’s an essential characteristic for a brand because it improves the quality of service and other aspects of a charging station.
8. Various Payment Options
You should integrate different payment gateways in your app based on your country or location. Allow your users to choose from various payment gateways in your app. These approaches allow them to apply whenever it is convenient for them. For example, users can use eWallets, UPI, PayPal, a debit or credit card, etc., to pay.
9. Billing History
Users can look into their billing history, the amount of energy they used, and the cost they’ll have to pay daily, weekly, or monthly. The billing history function allows customers to keep track of their bookings, including the amount of energy used and how much they paid.
10. Push Notification
Users can receive notifications or cautions about local charging stations and reminders of future bookings, new entry offers, and more via the EV charging station finder app.
11. AI-Powered Chatbot
Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence can provide quick service and answer users’ questions anytime they need it. They can also pass on the unanswerable questions to the team that deals with them.
12. Bonus Points
Users who use these apps regularly get bonus points in promotional vouchers, coupons, free memberships, and perks. These incentives can be used to boost user retention and attract users to your services.
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Technology Stack for EV Charging Station Finder App
Implement the following tech stack for effortless use of your app.
|Push Notifications||Twilio, Push, Amazon SNS, Urban Airship, Firebase Cloud Messaging.|
|Payments||Braintree & PayPal, Stripe, EWallets|
|Find user Location||Google Maps, Core Location Framework, Google Places API|
|Backend||Flutter, Laravel, Node.js|
|Cloud services||AWS, Google, Azure, AWS, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VULTR|
|Verify Mobile No.||Twilio, Nexmo|
|Analytics||Kafka, Spark, Flink, Hadoop, BigData, Hadoop|
|Frontend||React Native, Flutter, Java/Kotlin, Swift|
Monetization Models of EV Charging Station Finder App
After creating an EV charging station finder app, you want to know how you can make money from this app. Let’s discuss them in detail.
It’s a basic monetization model where you charge your users for the services you provide. You can provide monthly, quarterly, or annual plans to users. It will help you to generate a consistent stream of revenue. You can also offer discounts on your annual plan compared to monthly plans to attract users.
You can allow affiliates to use your app to display promotional content or adverts. There are various forms of advertisements you can integrate into the app. These include in-apps, pop-ups, sidebars, videos, etc.
Many EV charging station finder apps do not charge anything from users to use them; instead, they display advertisements and rely on advertising money to fund their operations.
Besides the above two, there are other popular mobile app monetization methods that you can integrate into your EV charging station finder app.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop an EV Charging Station Finder App?
The cost to develop an EV charging station app is around $10,000 to $20,000 for basic features & functionality.
Basic to medium-sized EV charging station finder apps will cost around $20,000 to $40,000.
Lastly, developing a complex EV charging station locator mobile app would cost around $30,000 or more.
However, the total cost of app development is influenced by several important factors. These include the application’s complexity, features, the platform you choose (Android, iOS, or both), and the app evelopment company’s location.
With rising awareness of electric vehicles there will be great demand for charging stations and so the station locator apps.
If you’re interested in creating an EV charging station finder app, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Guru TechnoLabs is an on-demand app development company. We can create on-demand apps depending on your business needs and target audience efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
The top EV charging station finder apps in the USA are:
Yes, you get information about charging stations compatible with various electric vehicle models and charging connector types from the app. It ensures that users can easily find suitable stations regardless of their vehicle's specifications.
The duration to develop an app like Plugshare could take around 6 months. However, the timeline varies as it depends on different aspects like the app's complexity, the number of features, and the development team's size.