Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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Need to charge your electric car? These apps can help: Talking Tech podcast – USA TODAY

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Hey there, listeners. It’s Brett Molina. Welcome back to Talking Tech. If you have been keeping up with the news, then you likely know that gas prices have hit extraordinary levels. The latest from AAA shows that the current national average for gas per gallon is at 4.25. By comparison, it was only 3.47 about a month ago. And a year ago, which feels like forever ago now, in comparison, gas was 2.80 a gallon. As a result, there are some people out there that are probably thinking to themselves, “Maybe now is a really good time to consider an electric vehicle.” Obviously, one of the big benefits is plug in the car at home, and you never need gas. And so, you save money on gas. Also, maintenance costs sometimes are lower compared to a standard gas vehicle. But one of the big concerns for some might be, what if I’m driving somewhere and I have nowhere to charge, and then I’m stuck?
It’s called range anxiety. It’s obviously something that some people worry about. They’re going to buy into this EV and then they take it, say, on a road trip, and then they’re trying to figure out where to recharge. And they can’t really figure out where and how it works. And there’s a lot of concern about that. Fortunately, there’s help. My colleague and tech columnist, Marc Saltzman, writes about this in a story that you can read on tech.usatoday.com. He focuses on apps that can help you find the nearest charging stations for your EV. Super useful, especially for those who really worry about, am I going to be able to figure out where to charge my car? The first app that he mentions is called PlugShare. It’s a really cool app. And again, this is what you do. It not only helps you find charging stations for your car, it provides you with charging tips.
You can also do other stuff as well, like find out the real time availability of a station. You can see what it looks like. It has descriptions of what the stations are. You can bookmark locations, so if you travel to the same place, several times, you can bookmark a good place to charge your car. If you are planning a trip, it has a road trip planner. So, not only do you plan how to get to your destination, but also it’ll show you the different places you can charge to help with that. Really useful. Another app that Marc mentions in his story is called ChargeHub. It’s also free. It lists all the charging stations available in the US and Canada. You can filter down, depending on what you need. You can also get alerts for, say, when a public charging station is open and that way, if you need to pop in and charge really quickly. You can also get a lot of really detail availability data if you need it.
So, super useful. One more that Marc mentions is A Better Routeplanner. It’s a website in an app for iOS and Android. What you’ll do is, you’ll create an account, pick your vehicle, you enter where you’re going. And then the app will plan an itinerary, and it’ll show you all the suggestions it has for, these are the good places to stop and charge your car. There’s also a premium version as well. It supports multiple vehicles. You can also share your routes. You can also see previous trips you took. It has a lot of other real-time data, like weather and traffic and everything like that. So, super helpful. And again, if you’re someone that’s on the fence about electric vehicles, and you’re worried about that scenario where you think you’re not going to have anywhere to charge, these apps can be a really big help.
You can read more on Marc’s tips and read more of his column by visiting tech.usatoday.com. Listeners, let’s hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, or show ideas, any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter @brettmolina23. Please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us or leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts. You’ve been listening to Talking Tech. We’ll be back to… Let me do that again. You’ve been listening to Talking Tech. We’ll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.

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