All vehicle owners have to plan ahead before making a long trip, but EV owners especially so. When their destination is far away or their car has a short remaining range, electric vehicle owners need to know whether they can make the whole trip without charging, and if not, which charging stations they can stop at along the way. This is where EV trip planning apps come in handy.

More and more EV charging networks offer an EV trip planning feature as part of their web and mobile applications. These companies know how useful the feature is for their customers. The first step to building a successful EV trip planning interface is the ability to search for nearby EV charging stations. But trip planning is about more than just finding nearby chargers. Using Smartcar’s electric vehicle API, your EV charging app can build a full-fledged trip planning feature that facilitates many aspects of owning and driving electric vehicles.

1. Let vehicle owners enter their destination

In the first step of every EV trip planning interface, car owners type their destination into a search bar. An integrated map service then suggests the correct address and different possible routes.

To make your EV trip planning feature even more effective, let EV owners start the calculated route at their vehicle’s location instead of their smartphone’s location. In some cases, your customer and their car aren’t in the same place, but they want to plan ahead before fetching their vehicle and starting to drive. Use Smartcar’s location API to retrieve the exact location of your customer’s vehicle. This way, the routes that your app suggests are more accurate and your EV trip planning feature is more precise than ever.

2. Retrieve the vehicle’s SOC and range

Once your customer has selected their desired destination and route, you can now use our EV battery API to read the state of charge and the remaining range from their vehicle. Smartcar lets you retrieve this information anytime directly from the car, no matter whether or not it is currently plugged in and/or charging at one of your EV charging stations.

3. Suggest the ideal trip

Based on the selected destination and route as well as the obtained SOC and range, your application can now propose the ideal EV trip. Estimate how often and for how long the car needs to charge and match this information with EV charging stations along the driver’s route.

4. Inform EV owners about charging progress

Once your customer has started their trip, your app can help them manage their charging stops. Using Smartcar’s EV charging status API, know whether a vehicle is plugged in and whether it is charging. Notify your customer when their vehicle starts charging, even if they are using a charging station outside of your network. Monitor the vehicle’s SOC and range, and notify the driver once their car has attained the desired charging level.

This is how easily EV charging networks offer EV trip planning features using Smartcar’s electric vehicle API. To learn more about our technology, check out the Smartcar website and contact us for a product demo. We’re happy to chat!