EV road trip Charging essentials for Europe

The essential charging apps you need for road tripping through Europe. From Octopus Electroverse, Fastned to Ionity and many more, a quick run through of my go to applications.

EV road trip Charging essentials for Europe

After 2+ years of having my Tesla Model 3 and driving it on multiple road trips through Europe, I thought I'd share some of the key charging apps and cards to have ready for any long distance road trip.

While for your daily trips, you'll most likely be charging at home or on a local AC charger, when it comes to long distance road trips, you'll most likely be looking for DC fast chargers along your route and a public AC charger at your destination, in the case that your hotel doesn't have any ability to charge your car overnight.

The following are some of the key apps and cards that I always have in my car for any road trip.

Octopus Electroverse

While Octopus Electroverse is relatively new to the EV charging space, it's quickly become my favourite app. Unlike most of the EV charging apps that seem to have forgotten about UX, the Electroverse app is easy to use and doesn't suffer from the many glitches that many of the other apps do. On top of that, their support, while sometimes slow, is great when it comes to billing mistakes.

Charging at Engie Vianeo with Octopus Electroverse

The Octopus Electroverse allows you to access many of the public networks out t here across Europe, at the same or lower price compared to what that network charges itself, so it's a great win. For example, they offer a 5% discount on Ionity in comparison to Ionity's non-subcription price.

Octopus also offers their RFID card free of charge, which is great to have as a backup when you're at that charger in the middle of nowhere without any mobile coverage.

Octopus Electroverse app

You can find a map of all their chargepoints and pricing here.

Sign up using the following link for a discount off your first charge: https://electroverse.octopus.energy/sign-up/magic?referralCode=onyx-yak-13853


While Octopus above doesn't run their own charging network and instead gives you access to multiple networks, Fastned is a Charge Point Operator (CPO) - and they're probably my favourite one.

Their charging sites are most often located right off the motorway and are easy to find at the motorway service stations thanks in part to their striking design.

Fastned Charging Site

Fastned's pricing is in line with the likes of Ionity when it comes to motorway charging, so it won't be the cheapest option along the motorway. That said, I've never had any issue with their charging sites, the Alpitronic chargers just work, always giving you full power.

Fastned app

One other big advantage of Fastned is that you can activate "Autocharge", which is similar to what Plug&Charge should be, but it actually works with cars that don't support that, such as the Tesla. With "Autocharge" enabled, you'll just plug in and it'll start charging. No RFID card or app needed to start charging once set up.

You can find a map of all their locations here.


If you're road tripping through Europe, you will come across Ionity sooner or later. They're generally located at service stations across European motorways and are a generally reliable - maybe not as reliable as Fastned. I've encountered a few chargers that didn't work which meant I had to move over a stall to charge on another one.

Ionity Charging Site

That aside, the big downside is that their app. It's laggy, constantly has billing issues and just doesn't feel as polished as some of the other apps - I'm guessing it's a webapp that's somehow packaged for Android.

However, Ionity has recently launched extremely cheap subscriptions, which may be worth getting for a month while you're road tripping. Any other time, just use Octopus Electroverse instead to access them which is a way nicer app (and offers an RFID card) and it'll save you 5% too compared to the direct price.

You can find a map of all their chargers here.

Tesla Superchargers

If you own a Tesla, you'll have charged on a Supercharger at one point or another. They're one of the cheapest networks in Europe as a Tesla owner and for the last year or two, you can get that same cheap rate for your non-Tesla with the Membership.

Tesla Supercharger Site

Unlike Ionity or Fastned, these are generally located off the highway a bit at a hotel or in an industrial area. This has it's pros and cons depending on the time of day. You'll have to drive an extra few minutes (generally not more than 5 mins) to get to them, but they're great if you get to them around lunchtime, as you'll be able to get a nice hotel lunch (or breakfast) while your car is charging.

You can find all Superchargers mapped out here.

Spain Bonus: Electromaps

Electromaps is an interesting app. While I wouldn't recommend to use the app or their RFID tag for charging at paid stations as they're generally marking up the direct price - sometimes quite significantly so, it's a great app to find chargers and see other drivers' feedback on them.

Their RFID tag is handy to have though, as it can activate many free chargers and some of the fringe chargers in Spain.

The app has some minor issues, for example logging you out repeatedly, but the community content is great. A great tool to find free chargers all over the place.

Check out the Electromaps content on the web here.

France Bonus: Chargemap

Pretty much the exact same thing applies to Chargemap as it does to Electromaps, with the difference that it's main focus is on France. It does however have some content outside of France too.

On pricing, same thing as Electromaps - it's significantly marking up direct pricing, so generally not using the card unless none of the others above work.

I'd also note that their support (was) pretty bad. I got charged significantly more kWh than I charged and it took them several months to rectify this.

Check out the Chargemap content on the web here.

Shell Recharge

So, I was conflicted whether I should even mention Shell Recharge. The card is super useful to have, as it generally works with everything. However, billing is an absolute shitshow, with it not supporting card payments and invoices being generated only monthly, not per charge. They also charge more than most direct pricing.

Their support when it comes to billing issues was also pretty bad, so similar to the previous 2, a good card to have, avoid using it if you don't have to.

Is there any other app that you use for charging that I missed? Share it below!