The Great Electric Vehicle topic: apps and experiences with electric driving

Electric vehicles have been taking over the world of cars since last decade, and the EV experience in Europe (and most probably the rest of the world too) means the use of proprietary software, and specifically the use of (proprietary) apps.

@tortoisedoc reported an issue with the EVBox charging app, and that gave me the idea that we might want a general topic to discuss the EV apps out there, and how you experience them on AppSupport. The idea is that we can exchange experiences with (charging, mapping) apps and generally exchange useful tips for EVs and Sailfish users. I know some of you have EVs, so let’s have a chat! :slight_smile:

This is a way to talk about bugs without having formal reports, and to talk about positive experiences too!


I’ll kick off the topic: I am Ruben, I have used Sailfish OS since it came to life with Jolla. I currently daily drive an Xperia 10, and I also daily drive a Renault Zoe ZE40 R90 2017. I truly love that little car.

My experience with the Renault Zoe ZE40 R90 2017: I use the Bluetooth connection to play music and take and make phone calls. This generally works flawlessly, except that during winter (since a week or two, and it’s been every winter so far), the titles of songs don’t update on the entertainment display. The song that was playing in Unplayer remains visible until the entertainment system restarts, then it’s updated.

I have a whole bunch of apps, and I have an Xperia 10 IV with stock Android that I used for charging apps when I’m 100km+ outside of my comfort zone (used it in Hamburg, for example). Bonnet, Shell (of which I have a charging card), ABRP, Vattenfall (never used it IIRC), Charge Assist (that’s Brussels, mostly, never even used it), Yellowbrick (parking in Brussels), Crashform.

I have the whole MicroG suite with Mapbox, which yields me a very “meh” experience: the Shell apps recenters or moves around the map quite often, and charging points are shifted on the map by a few meters or maybe even more (same in Uber Eats!). Yellowbrick crashes right after startup. Their website is also too heavy for the Sailfish browser, it seems :see_no_evil:, so I only use it via my laptop.

I canceled my Bonnet subscription because I don’t charge on public chargers too often, although I was also annoyed that their new login procedure doesn’t work on Sailfish OS: they send an email with a link that you open with the Bonnet app (which seems to be recognised mostly), but then the Bonnet app doesn’t respond correctly to it…

What I do like: I have my Zoe in Home Assistant, and I can use the Sailfish browser pretty easily to trigger the preconditioning function. I use that quite often, and takes me about 20 seconds to actually trigger it. It’s the standard look-I-have-a-cool-car trick for EV drivers, but it’s nice that it actually works decently on Sailfish :smiley:

The Renault App itself used to work well, but nowadays it triggers a “your phone is rooted” message. It’s more picky than any of my banking apps, and I can’t get it to behave again. I have it on my Xperia IV instead.

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Maybe we should loose [Android] in the title? There aren’t SFOS apps yet, but it may change in future and it would make sense to start this discussion in a more generic way.

ABRP does have some API (https://www.iternio.com/api), but pricing is not clear. Haven’t looked into their conditions either. Unfortunately, haven’t seen yet anything for EVs with Valhalla. HERE seems to support EVs and could be a place to start. But maybe some other routers are available that can help us. Tips are welcome on APIs that can be integrated into map apps (Pure Maps, for example).

Some APIs are available for cars, chargers and all can be used to program around it. In case of car APIs, it should be possible to get SOC and, from that, lookup the chargers on the route that would fit it. However, it is all rather non-trivial and would require some kind of car-specific modules.

With APIs that are connected to pricing, we would, ideally, need to have some kind of way for paying for it. But that was touched upon earlier as well.

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Agreed, and that’s a very positive way of thinking, and something I actually thought about before too :slight_smile:
Done!

In my experience, all brands have their proprietary APIs, and none of them seems to want to expose them to DIY people. Home Assistant uses a reverse engineered one afaik.

Yes please! :star_struck:

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Great to see your efforts! Open Wallbox (the OS) has different ways to get Infos from the Car (SOC). Maybe there´s useful code or knowledge. I Think it´s built on Raspian.

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For charger infos maybe Chargeprice could be an option but I think they reduced the amount of calls per day when using the browser.

Another faulty app: Neogy eMobility
Apparently only active in Italy; there was a problem when downloading the app from aurora store as well:
“Beim parsen des Pakets ist en Problem aufgetreten”. Where could i see more logs?

Re: Chargemap, also not starting…Enabling high precision localization from sfos gets it to the secon screen, only to crash afterwards.

Can confirm, same here! Would’ve made sense for me to have the Chargemap app, since I have an account…

As stated in the bugreport for evbox charger, updating all the relevant components(fakestore, microg, nlp backends ) seems to have solved my issue.

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The Renault integration for home assistant is probably written in python, and thus could likely be re-used in sfos. I did a similar thing for the BMW integration. Just a quickie terminal script, but effective enough. (I do need to rebase to latest version due to server side changes that broke integration for a while.)

ed. Meant to @rubdos here to make context clearer…

This being opensource? If so, link?

All the homeassistant plugins are open source, when I gey to a bigger screen I’ll get some links up.

here is an example api for VW: GitHub - tillsteinbach/WeConnect-python: Python API for the Volkswagen WeConnect Services

Yes please! Personally interested in bmw :slight_smile:

Here’s the page of all the car plugins that work out of the box with homeassistant. They call them “integrations”.

The BMW Connected Drive integration has its own code repo called bimmer_connected (as do most/all of the other car integrations listed on the homeassistant website). There’s a CLI example in the repo that’s a good starting point to a standalone implementation. When I borrowed the code for sailfish, I started there and created a menu-based terminal app for my personal purposes. Dumb and boring, but just fine form my needs.

The README page at the repo has additional useful links, including the other notable projects around the web. The most interesting – to me, that is – of the other projects is BMW-i-Remote. They’ve got a nice list of connecteddrive API functions, although possibly a little outdated. The rangemap function is particularly interesting. When I still had my terminal app working, I used the rangemap to download an array of geographic points that represented the driving range in the various efficiency modes. Python could extract the results and trivially process into a format that could be dumped to mapbox’s polyline mapping feature (mapbox dev account needed) to return a graphical rangemap. That was a crowd-pleaser. It’d be particularly sweet if a polyline array could be dumped to a native app like Puremaps rather than relying on an external web service, but either way friends and strangers are impressed by the function, they way they aren’t by a much more useful text menu!

I’d probably get back to updating my terminal app, but VPN-ing into my homeassistant provides most of the functionality I need, so I can procrastinate indefinitely.

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The connectivity functionality for the Renault integration is even a Python module, so should be easy enough. But you need to use the Renault app to actually get it to work, so that’s a chicken-and-egg thing. I wanted the official app, such that I can bootstrap the process.

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I will give my small experience with my new Polestar 2 (only 2 month),

The app of polestar, of course, doesn’t sync with the car with app support, also my daily driver mobile is a xz2 compact but I tried with my XA2. There is a small opensource app that you can install into the car to get data of the car with home-assistant (The app is not in the store, because google doesn’t wish that, but the creator of the app and Polestar 2 are talking to integrate it), but the only way that you can handle the car for the moment is via google voice assistant as far as I know, and I never tried. I try to avoid google voice assistant as much as possible.

About phone integration, seems the hands free and the music works, but the hands-free is not stable, and the music doesn’t have controls with the car (If I remember correctly, usually I listen radio)

About the apps I’m using, I use mainly the one from my city, sw-i and it work on waydroid without problems (yes, no GPS on waydroid) but doesn’t recognise micro-g, still can work without google play services. and last weekend I installed EmBW mobility and seems to work, but I didn’t tried a lot.

P.D./offtopic: yes I knew that polestar comes with google android automotive, and is something that I hate, but… my car loving win over my computer science in me, and I really love this car, also because of different things, I needed a good range on the car, limiting a lot the options.

:frowning: Bummer. At least BMW let me create my account on the web and didn’t require an “app” to do that.

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To make it even better: there is (was?) also My Renault online, which was a different My Renault account from the app. Very confusing. Renault’s software is a mess, luckily the GPS is Dutch (TomTom) ;p

That is very cool.

That’s the “annoying” thing with my Zoe: no DC charging on my model. Otherwise I’d give EnBW a spin too.

How bad is this? I have all the fancy things on my Zoe too, so Renault knows perfectly where I am at all times… Can you, for example, decide to use a PS2 without Google account? I’ve always wondered how hard you need to actually get into the Google realm to realistically drive a PS2. Otherwise it’s such a cool car. Congrats on your new car!

Well, is pretty integrated with the car. Theorically yes, you can drive without a google account and I expect Polestar app still works fine and have the “fancy things” of the app, but still, you will not have spotify, or any other navigation system than google Maps. Also, to enable the pre-warming of the batteries, you need to set google maps destination to a charger, no other app enables the pre-warming of the battery (And for what I discover, you need to arrive to the charger with less than X battery, otherwise, simply ignores you) Since the first thing they ask when was delivered was configure the google account, and also is the only fucking way to install apps is with google play (And of course a google account), no option of f-droid or anything similar.

You can see here, the workarround they did to being able to install the app for the extra car stats: https://polestar.fans/t/carstatsviewer-informationen/15027

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