Electric automobiles are undoubtedly the future of the automotive industry. The steady growth of EVs and the acknowledgment of their favorable impact on the environment is a testament to their popularity among consumers. Moreover, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provided the automotive industry of the U.S a much-needed boost towards the adoption of clean energy.
A gap closely follows the rise in the demand for electric vehicles in charging station location applications. Fortunately, the market for apps for EV charges is expanding quickly to meet the surging consumer demands.
As most charging stations are part of a charging network, EV owners can locate these places on their mobile phones through station finder apps. The market is still relatively new; therefore, there is plenty of opportunity for app developers to launch EV charging station apps to facilitate consumers.
An EV charging station app enables users to locate nearby EV charging stations. Apart from providing the exact location of the stations, it also mentions the types of plugs the station supports. The app also offers access to real-time availability, as well as reviews, photos, and other relevant information about the charging stations.
A charging station app also sends notifications to EV owners when a charging station is nearby, and this helps them get to their destination without running out of electrical charge.
If you own an electric vehicle, you should know that it’s not easy to fuel it like in a regular car. You will find petrol pump stations every few kilometers, but the same cannot be said about EV charging stations. Therefore, it is crucial for users to know when and where they can find the nearest station to keep their car running smoothly.
An EV charging station finder app does just that. All users have to do is download the app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store and install it on their phone. Once the installation is complete, you may need to register to log in to the app. Typically, the app will ask for your current location, which you can provide by typing your address or locating your position on the built-in map.
As the app locks in your location, it will display a number of charging stations for you to choose from. A good EV charging station finder app should also provide important data, including compatible electric vehicles, availability, price, photos, and other details. Users can also reserve their slots in advance to save time on the road. Pre-booking through the app allows drivers to plan their routes according to the stations and check the charging level and progress in the app.
According to a report, the electric vehicle charging station market is anticipated to reach a CAGR of 30% by 2024. According to estimates, there will be over 4 million EVs in California alone by the end of 2030. These statistics clearly show the magnitude of the EV industry’s rapid growth. The EV charging industry is undoubtedly a dynamic one with a wide range of applications in the automobile market.
The following are key benefits of developing an EV charging station app in 2022.
Less competition, higher chances of success
One of the primary reasons more developers are jumping on the EV charging app bandwagon is that this niche has less competition at the moment compared to other industries. Since there are fewer successful apps to compete with, developers can use the trial and error method to create an app that delivers the desired result.
It solves an actual problem
What is the deciding factor in an app’s success? It’s the consumer’s need for the app’s solution. With an EV charging station app, you are addressing a pain point that exists for EV owners across the country. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report shows that 58% of global passenger vehicle sales will be generated from electric vehicles. More EV owners mean more app users; therefore, a higher chance of success.
Also, this is an excellent time to launch a new app that solves a real problem for EV owners. The longer your app remains in the market, the more credibility and consumer trust it can earn over time. By the time new electric vehicle owners start looking for an EV charging app, you would have established a reputed name for yourself that you can leverage for higher profitability.
A compelling EV charging station app must-have features that ensure customers have an easy time using it. Some important elements that an EV charging app must have to include the following:
1. Search Filters
Users generally employ different filters when looking for an EV charging station that meets their requirements. If you can incorporate various filters into your app, you will be able to guarantee outstanding customer service. Here are a few standard filter options that most consumers would appreciate:
2. Multiple payment options
In today’s day and age, consumers want convenient payment methods, from debit/ credit cards to net banking and other popular wallets. The idea is to facilitate the user in such a way that they choose your app over competitors. You even have the option to design your own wallet, which will allow EV owners to save money on specific charges.
3. In-app navigation
Third-party APIs such as Google Maps can enable in-app navigation using GPS, allowing users to find charging stations on the map in real-time. Moreover, your charging station app can provide additional information and instructions on specific charging locations.
Integrating GPS tracking into the app will help users identify the charging station they’re looking for in addition to other nearby stations.
4. Integrate CRM system
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is an effective way for companies to engage with existing and new customers. It helps them improve business relationships, streamline processes, and improve overall profitability.
Integrating a CRM into your EV charging station finder app will help you manage your business efficiently in the long run. Since all the information is stored in a single place, you can easily access and sync data for improved app performance.
5. Chatbots support
Chatbots play a crucial role in retaining and satisfying customers in real-time. Since they don’t need to wait for a support executive to resolve their query, getting instant answers from a chatbot keeps consumers engaged and content. You can set up your AI-powered chatbot to answer users’ most common questions to get the most out of this latest technology.
6. Loyalty programs
Whether you offer your customers discounts, vouchers, or reward points- a loyalty program attracts users and keeps them coming back to you. It helps you retain existing customers and prevents them from switching to other competitor apps. Since every EV charging station finder app provides more or less the same services, it’s essential to find a feature that sets you apart from the other apps, and loyalty programs enable you to achieve just that.
7. Push notifications
Using push notifications in your app keeps your consumers engaged throughout their user journey. Several messages can be sent to users through alerts, from reminders to reservations and app offers.
8. Reservation of charging slot
A crucial aspect of any EV charging station app is the user’s ability to reserve a slot for charging their car despite their location. This can benefit consumers as they can easily avoid long queues and save traveling time.
9. Monitor billing history
If you enable users to keep track of their billing history, it will allow them to maintain a record of all the invoices they’ve paid. This way, they can monitor their energy usage and charge payments.
10. Enable ratings and reviews
An important feature to include in your EV charging station app is ratings and reviews of the stations showing on your app. It helps new users to assess the station’s actual status before visiting them. In addition, it allows charging station owners to improve their offerings to consumers.
Choosing a solid monetization strategy for your mobile app can make the difference between a successful app and a failure. Whether your app is free-to-install or paid, developing a suitable monetization strategy will ensure that your app meets the user’s intent while keeping the company profitable.
Mobile app monetization is the process of earning revenue to support your app, and there are a number of monetization models that you can choose from. It is important to identify the best fit for your app so you can diversify your revenue streams for maximum benefit.
Subscription monetization model
The subscription model is part of in-app purchases. It allows app developers to provide a different experience to users that pay to use the app compared to the ones benefiting from the free version. The benefit of introducing this model of monetization is that it’s not limited to an all-or-nothing approach. Instead, you can set up multiple subscription packages to attract users at different levels.
By setting a fair price in return for your app’s services, you will gain every time a new member joins. You can charge your customers monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Moreover, subscription renewal payments also add to your revenue stream. In essence, the purpose of this model is to generate a profit without depriving or annoying the users.
In-app purchases help elevate the user experience while making a profit for the app-developing company. It would be best if you thought of ways to build on the user experience through in-app purchases.
Usually, these purchases can be divided into consumables and non-consumables. Consumables are limited purchases that are available for a temporary period. Some examples include in-app currencies, payment for extra points, or purchasing a hint or tip.
On the other hand, non-consumables only have to be purchased once. Its examples include payment to unlock a level, upgrading membership to remove in-app ads, or buying a life-long premium version.
One of the most common methods for mobile apps to earn money is through in-app advertisements. Even if your application is free-to-use, you can still profit by running ads. There are four types of advertisements:
Notification ads aren’t received well by consumers because it appears on the user’s mobile device’s status bar. It would be best to be careful when incorporating this ad into your app, as it may earn you a bad name in the long run.
These advertisements are usually placed when there’s a natural break in the app—for example, switching from one menu to another. Consumers tolerate them well since they don’t hinder the user’s ability to use your app. You can expect some clicks if the advertisement is interesting for the user.
Capture forms ask consumers for their email addresses in return for incentives such as tokens or points. You will mostly find this form of advertisement in mobile gaming apps.
App banner ads are the ones that appear at the top or bottom of the app’s screen. Since they are quite intrusive, consumers don’t like them, and don’t perform as well. Therefore, be wary of adding this type of advertisement to your company’s app.
You can authorize affiliates, social media influencers, or actors to run promotional content for your EV charging station app. Since most EV apps don’t charge users anything in return for their services, the sponsorship model can help you earn a sizeable profit. The idea is to use a renowned personality to draw interest toward your EV charging station finding app.
The cost of developing an EV charging station app depends on the following factors:
Third-party integrations are essential to attract and retain consumers, but if you still need to get the right APIs in place, you are at risk of higher churn. With third-party API integrations, you can provide your users with new features and save money.
The technology you use to build your EV charging station app will affect the total cost of its development.
Apps with a more complex design usually cost more than a regular one. Therefore, the UI/UX design you finalize will add to the app development cost.
The expenses for the application’s protection and security must be accounted for when fixing a budget for your app. Since applications have to deal with sensitive data, including user payments, app security can’t be ignored.
When developing an EV charging app, post-deployment expenses for app maintenance or updates must be considered.
Another factor to remember when calculating the app’s development cost is your chosen application hosting service. The cost of an EV station app with basic features costs around $10,000 to $3,50,000.
The EV market is expanding exponentially. Therefore, there’s plenty of scope for an EV charging station app. However, adding the right features and functionalities is essential to generate significant revenue. This article will help you identify the best-in-class features and develop an EV charging station finder app that beats the competition.