Lackluster ChargePoint iPhone app a shockingly bad electric car charging app

Mar 29, 2010
Tech

If the free  iPhone app worked like it was supposed to, a map that shows you nearby charging stations for your electric car, the score at the bottom of this review would be much different. Instead, ChargePoint is an iPhone app that sometimes shows you charging stations and sometimes makes you think electric cars don’t exist. It must be […]

If the free  iPhone app worked like it was supposed to, a map that shows you nearby charging stations for your electric car, the score at the bottom of this review would be much different. Instead, ChargePoint is an iPhone app that sometimes shows you charging stations and sometimes makes you think electric cars don’t exist.

It must be said that I do not have an account with ChargePoint, so I did not log in to review the features of the ChargePoint Network. From what I understand after doing some research, it appears you could activate the charge from one of the charging stations via this iPhone app, which seems like a pretty cool feature.

As to the rest of this iPhone app, especially the map portion, ChargePoint is a total failure. Given the option to search near your current location for charging stations, one comes up near me in Chicago. However, zooming out the map makes it look like there isn’t a single other station anywhere else. No problem, I figure, I’ll put in a location in the search box: Chicago, Ill. Still just the one station appears.

However, putting a travel destination, Chicago to Detroit, Mich., leads me to three different stations within an hour’s drive, and a few more right along the route to Detroit. When you trip plan using ChargePoint, you can say you’d like to see stations within a specific mile radius. However, when you are just looking at the map, I assume it defaults back to the standard five miles, and there’s no way to change it. That’s an inexcusable flaw for me, especially when the app doesn’t even provide any information saying as much.

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There is something useful here, provided you’re going on a trip. Mapping out your trip to hit multiple charging stations on the way seems easy enough. But if you just want to know where you are in relation to several nearby charging stations? You’re out of luck. Skip this iPhone app until it becomes much more useful friendly.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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