Tesla’s biggest advantage in the EV market is its Supercharger network. To sort of lessen the advantage gap between the VW Group and Tesla (and to alleviate some Dieselgate criticism), zee Germans helped create Electrify America. Unfortunately for Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, we hear more complaints than praise from customers and users of Electrify America’s network. One of the chief complaints is with software and billing, making it difficult to find open chargers and then pay for a charge once you already have. Thankfully, Electrify America is at least taking steps to remedy that with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Now, rather than having to take their phone out while driving to find an open Electrify America charger, it’s built right into their infotainment screen. From there, customers can find an open charger, plug in, and pay, all right from the app in the car. You can also pause, stop, and continue the charge right from the app on the screen.
Admittedly, Tesla fans are laughing right now, as Teslas and their Supercharger network have had this functionality for years, without needing an outside software like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Instead, Supercharger connectivity is built right into the car’s infotainment screen. Still, without a proprietary charging network, this is about as close as other EVs will get.
This might not remedy all of Electrify America’s issues and it certainly won’t bring its charging network close to the functionality of Tesla’s Supercharger network but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, owners will have a far easier time finding a charger, interacting with it, and paying for their charge. At the end of the day, convenience is what we want most from out charging/refilling experiences, so any added convenience welcome.