EV Myth: You need a smart phone to use a public charging station.

December 16, 2021

Myth: You need a smart phone to be able to charge at a pub­lic charger.

Myth BUSTED: You do not always need an app for that – you can use your cred­it card to pay for your charg­ing ses­sion instead.

As more EV charg­ers are added to the nation­al charg­ing net­work, cus­tomers are expe­ri­enc­ing increased com­plex­i­ties over how to access the pow­er. The adage, “there’s an app for that,” comes into play here but the good news is you don’t always NEED an app for that.

First, I want to note that 90 per­cent of charg­ing hap­pens at home. When you charge on your 110‑V out­let or your 240‑V home Lev­el 2 charg­er, you will be billed direct­ly through your util­i­ty. Some util­i­ties now offer spe­cial­ized EV Charg­ing pro­grams with ded­i­cat­ed cir­cuits that will clear­ly des­ig­nate your EV charg­ing costs from oth­er elec­tric­i­ty costs. Talk to your local util­i­ty about these options today!

If you do need to charge “in the wild,” you can down­load PlugShare or Charge­Hub or sim­ply type “EV Charg­er” into Google Maps to find near­by pub­lic charg­ers. Many EV dri­vers do down­load charg­ing net­work apps like EVGo, Charge­Point, and Elec­tri­fy Amer­i­ca to access charg­ers. Some man­u­fac­tur­ers have their own apps as well includ­ing Ford, Tes­la, and Riv­ian. Using these apps is sim­ple – you cre­ate an account and use the inter­face to reg­is­ter on the charg­ing sta­tion which will rec­og­nize your account and bill you direct­ly. Addi­tion­al­ly, many of these net­works will send you an RFID-card reg­is­tered to your account. Vir­tu­al­ly every charg­ing net­work (of which there are many) has their own app. The ben­e­fit of using these apps would be to accrue mem­ber­ship points and ben­e­fits as a loy­al cus­tomer as well as to pro­tect your per­son­al finan­cial infor­ma­tion, which may be sub­ject to greater vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty with the use of mag­net­ic read­er strips as opposed to con­tact­less payments.

How­ev­er, if you are like me and you are averse to down­load­ing 15 dif­fer­ent apps for one pur­pose, you can access many charg­ing sta­tions with a cred­it card. I per­son­al­ly have used a cred­it card at a few dif­fer­ent EVGo sta­tions. That being said, some charg­ing net­works do not offer this, so it is smart to check before head­ing to one. You can see reviews from past users and ask ques­tions on PlugShare’s website.

Final­ly, because many indus­try experts rec­og­nize the lack of inter­op­er­abil­i­ty between dif­fer­ent charg­ing net­works is a bar­ri­er to access, there are cur­rent­ly efforts under­way to cre­ate a uni­ver­sal­ly acces­si­ble charg­ing net­work using Open Charge Point Inter­face (OCPI) soft­ware. The U.S. gov­ern­ment is help­ing to smooth the wrin­kles here as part of their goal to install 500,000 EV charg­ing sta­tions across Amer­i­ca by 2030.

Writ­ten by Son­ja Meints­ma, Region­al Direc­tor for South­ern Col­orado of Dri­ve Clean Colorado


Blan­co, S. and Nichols, B. 3 Decem­ber 2019. "EV Charg­ing Sta­tions: Where to find them, what type you need, how to pay." Car and Dri­ver. <https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a30031153/ev-charging-guide/>.

Whit­tak­er, Zachary. 11 June 2019. "Card read­ers at elec­tric vehi­cle charg­ing sta­tions will weak­en secu­ri­ty, researchers say." Tech Crunch. <https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/11/electric-vehicle-charging-credit-card-fraud/>.

Yahoo Finance. 22 Novem­ber 2021. "Major com­pa­nies are call­ing for fed­er­al stan­dards ensur­ing open access and sim­ple pay­ment meth­ods for elec­tric vehi­cle charg­ing infra­struc­ture." <https://finance.yahoo.com/news/major-companies-calling-federal-standards-165108789.html>.

Recent Posts

Earth Month 2024 Event Recap

Earth Month 2024 Event Recap

We believe every month is Earth Month, and April is no different! Throughout April, many cities and organizations hosted a variety of Earth Day celebrations across the state of Colorado. Drive Electric Colorado attended 13 events throughout the month, serving as a...

How an Electric Truck Kept the Lights On

How an Electric Truck Kept the Lights On

Electric vehicles have been using electrons across highways for over a decade now. For most, it’s an alternative fuel source to do the same job: transport people from point A to point B. But as EV’s begin taking more market share, many EV’s are starting to take shape...


Take the pledge to make your next car electric!