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Electric vehicle owners who regularly use the automaker’s smartphone apps but aren’t satisfied with them

The majority of electric vehicle owners use the automaker’s smartphone apps to manage battery charging, but they’re not satisfied with them, according to a new study by JD Power.

Of the electric vehicle owners surveyed, 70% said they used an app on at least every other drive to monitor charging and see available range. And while most electric vehicle owners do most of their charging at home, 85% said they still want apps to show available public charging stations in case they need it.

Research shows that electric vehicle owners want more features – sometimes more than what automakers offer. Of the 20 most popular app features, 15 were desired by 70% of electric vehicle owners surveyed. However, only eight of those features are “widely available,” according to JD Power.

Volkswagen's next-generation Car-Net

Volkswagen’s next-generation Car-Net

The research also shows a significant desire for more advanced app features that most automakers don’t yet offer, but at least one – the key phone – doesn’t involve EV charging.

Additionally, 32% of respondents said they have never used the EV smartphone app because they don’t know how the app works. So, as with other aspects of electric vehicle ownership, a lack of interpretation by dealers can be an issue.

According to the study, electric vehicle owners also don’t want to pay for these apps. The main reason owners cite for not using the app anymore is that their free trial period has expired.

Rivian R1S

Rivian R1S

The top-ranked EV apps in the study were FordPass, the Tesla app, MyHyundai, Kia Access, and the Genesis Intelligent Assistant. According to JD Power, despite their high-tech image, Rivian and Lucid fall short in terms of charging functionality, app speed, and general content.

Power is made clear for Green Car Report which it comes down to — at least in part — with a basic utility: the ability to remotely control charging.

“Among a number of uses by newer electric vehicle brands, we are seeing — or not seeing — that they are not capable of this,” said Jason D. Norton, of JD Power Global Automotive Consulting. the ability to set a charging timer or set a departure time”. Not being able to perform those tasks through the app reduces owners’ satisfaction with the overall charging experience at home. “

According to data from another study by JD Power, 84% of electric vehicle owners say they often or always charge at home — so not being able to change charge times remotely could ruin the experience.

Tesla has shown improvement this year. Last year’s version of this study criticized Tesla (and Volkswagen) for its lack of route planning, and in the case of Tesla, some diagnostic information can be found on other brands’ apps.

Electrify America now on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Electrify America now on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Surprisingly, many automakers don’t offer an option to neatly transfer charging points from your phone to your car while on the road. Electrify America just introduced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible last year. Despite this complexity, the number of possible applications will not decrease.

Not only automakers, but also charging networks and other aggregators they all want you to use their apps while they drive. General Motors aims to cut that clutter with Brand-specific apps for electric vehicles that feature “one click” on the charging network.

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