Mobile applications are emerging as powerful tools that can engross electric vehicle (EV) users and push forward the cause of cleaner, more sustainable transportation. Consumer engagement is viewed as critical to ensuring that the various benefits and challenges facing EVs are understood and effectively addressed. Market research by Frost & Sullivan which finds that the market for mobile apps for EVs is still at a nascent stage with tremendous scope for innovation and development.
Mobile apps for the EV market assist EV owners by offering services that make driving and charging more convenient. Currently available apps fall into four main categories: EV apps, educational apps, EV charging infrastructure apps and EV sharing apps.
"The main objective of these mobile apps is to popularise the advantages of EVs and reduce the limitations associated with them," noted Frost & Sullivan's Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst Shuba Ramkumar. "While some apps focus on raising awareness about the benefits of owning EVs, others offer value-added services complementing use of EVs."
There are several offerings available but the EV market offers ever-increasing opportunities for mobile app development. For instance, app developers can focus on solutions to facilitate EV authentication and subsequent payment at the charging station.
As a result of their synergies, the future for mobile apps in the EV market appears extremely promising. Already, the European market is witnessing a steady rise in the number of smartphone applications for EV and charging infrastructure. This is expected to further expand with the EU's plans to set up more charging stations.
Moreover, as the adoption rate of EVs rises, there is likely to be a related increase in the number and types of mobile apps in the market. However, a major challenge for mobile app providers is to offer innovative and user-friendly services that distinguish them from the competition.
"Currently, the EV market is dominated by location-based apps," concluded Ramkumar. "This means that there is a huge opportunity to grow beyond such confines and provide value-added services such as authentication, payment and smart home controls."