Autel Charge app review

YesAuto

29 Mar 2022

1/6
No matter if you're charging via Autel's AC MaxiCharger at home or with one of its public MaxiCharger DC Fast chargers, you'll be using its Autel Charge app to see what's going on. It's recently been updated and we've been using it: SPONSORED

With the internet and its connected services creeping into our lives in so many ways, it's perhaps no surprise that charging your electric car is now a very 'connected' experience too.


As such, it's vital that the app that goes with your charger, whether that's at home or one you're using in a public place, is easy to use.


Autel reckons its Autel Charge app is just that, but crucially, is also more advanced than most others thanks to the detailed information and advanced technology it offers its users.


You'll find it on Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store and it's free to download (around 105MB) but you'll need to create an account to use it.



For home users, once you're signed up and logged in, you'll be shown how to connect your app to your shiny new AC MaxiCharger by the installation engineer. You can read more about this in our full AC MaxiCharger review. For those using public chargers, you'll be using the app to connect and monitor your charge while out and about.


After an update at the end of February 2022, the Autel Charge app now defaults to the screen above. It'll locate you on a map and tell you where the nearest Autel chargers are, as well as their current state.


At this moment in time, there isn't much listed, but as Autel begins its rollout of powerful DC chargers up and down the country this map will start to fill up.



The Charge menu deals with your physical charging. You can choose to have a home AC MaxiCharger with a cable attached to it (tethered) or without – ours was the former. After plugging in (in our case, to a Volvo XC60 T6 plug-in hybrid) you will be asked if you want to start the charge.


Of course, if you're using a MaxiCharger DC unit in a public place, you'll follow the same steps, but all of these are tethered machines that you plug directly into your car.


Then it's as simple as hitting start and letting it get on with the job. The Charge screen will give you your charge duration, the volume of electricity that has been put in in kWh, the power of the charge in real-time and the cost of the charge so far. More on how to set-up up the cost function a little later.



New for the app's recent update is this scan menu. It flicks the screen to your camera and allows you to scan a QR code to initiate a charge out on the road.


If you're having trouble finding the QR code in the dark there's a useful flashlight shortcut button, or if the QR code is unreadable you're also able to manually input the chargers number.


Once scanned the charge will begin on the Charge screen.



Where the Autel Charge app begins to show its superiority versus rival apps is this Battery menu.


The Battery menu requires you to input your car's details and via software unique to Autel, it will not only give your battery a health check and full report but will also assess how it is best charged in order to prolong its life.



Finally, the Me menu you lets input your electricity supplier's kWh charge (in our case around 22p, but going up soon) in order to get an accurate cost for each charge. In our Volvo's case, its 11kWh battery costs about £2.50 to fill up from empty.


Also via the Me menu you can find and adjust details about your wall box and its WiFi connection (if you have one), see your charge history for past charging sessions at home and on the road and find help pages on how Autel's chargers work.


Verdict


It's clear Autel is trying to appeal to those users after more than the basic information with its Autel Charge app. The Battery menu in particular is a technology few others offer and something that will genuinely prolong the life of your EV's battery.


Crucially, though, the Autel Charge app is easy to use. From its easily navigable map function to its simple scan screen and easy to manipulate Me menus, it manages to feel advanced yet approachable.


That's a difficult thing to pull off and is key if more people are going to be taking up electric motoring in the very near future.


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YesAuto

29 Mar 2022