The solution against range anxiety

- News

The fact that the fast charging network for electric cars is far too small is not true. Until now, the only lacking feature was the route planner to find the right charging station quickly and intuitively. The "ChargingTime" app overcomes this obstacle. It was developed by a small start-up from Stuttgart, which is supported by the Innovation Campus Mobility of the Future as part of the Early Ride program.

Long-distance journeys in an electric car are no longer a hassle, thanks to the well-established charging network. What was missing, however, was an efficient route planner to assist in navigation. Felix Geibel and Jonas Sulzer, founders of "On Your Route GmbH," have successfully addressed this issue. "We've developed an app that tackles range anxiety while catering to people's needs," explains Felix. Their smartphone app, "ChargingTime", aids electric car drivers in locating optimal charging points and seamlessly integrating them into their journey. This app marks the debut product from the Stuttgart-based startup. Determined to materialize their concept independently, the two founders are even willing to depart from their roles as electric car developers at Mercedes. Supported by coaches and mentors within the ICM Early Ride program, they're shaping the evolution of their company.

Felix Geibel und Jonas Sulzer Start-up On Your Route Charging Time
Felix Geibel (left) and Jonas Sulzer have jointly developed the Charging Time app. The application helps electric car drivers to find the perfect charging stop. It is the first product of "On Your Route GmbH", the start-up of the two engineers, who met as electric car developers at Mercedes. © InnovationsCampus Mobilität der Zukunft

Their inspiration didn't originate from intensive design sessions but from real-life experiences. A few years ago, while vacationing with his family in an electric car, Felix meticulously planned charging stops in advance. However, the kids grew hungry sooner than anticipated. Juggling three apps, the family scrambled to find a fast-charging station near a suitable restaurant in a pinch. The absence of an intuitive and user-oriented charging stop and route planner became glaringly apparent. Post-vacation, Felix made a resolution to change this. He immersed himself in learning the Swift programming language and commenced app development. Eventually, he enlisted the help of his colleague Jonas, who set up a backend. In early 2022, the duo committed to launching "ChargingTime," unveiling the app's initial version on the Apple Store in summer 2022. Presently, Felix dedicates himself full-time to On Your Route, while Jonas remains part-time at Mercedes, slated to transition to full-time employment with the startup by the end of March.


The perfect match between the coach and the founders

Since its market launch, Felix and Jonas' idea has garnered the support of more than 30,000 users. During the kick-off for the Early Ride program, they managed to win over their initially skeptical coach, Manuel Lang. As the co-founder of Reasonance, an IT service provider specializing in AI and big data, Lang initially couldn't fathom the absence of an application for intelligent route planning for electric cars. However, during their initial meeting, the founders meticulously explain the weaknesses of existing competitors and the innovative solutions they had devised to address these issues. What set their product apart, according to Lang, was its intuitive design, perfectly tailored to the needs of electric car drivers. Jonas and Felix's profound understanding of their target audience impressed Lang, leaving a few unanswered questions about the content. Instead, the discussions revolved around areas where Lang, with his extensive experience as the founder of an IT company serving business customers, could provide valuable insights. Although "Charging Time" currently serves as a consumer-focused application, potential customers also include vehicle and end device manufacturers, tapping into Lang's expertise in the B2B sector. Recognizing the founders' engineering background and the need to establish a software company, Lang, as a coach from the IT sector, offers valuable guidance on organizational forms and management structures conducive to their venture. "We're already a very good match," affirms Lang.

App Charging Time On Your Route Routenplaner.
Charging Time already has more than 30,000 users who use it to search for the perfect charging stop. © ChargingTime Mockup erstellt mit

Intuitive, User-centered and versatile

No one would hastily relinquish a position as an electric car developer at a major automotive manufacturer. However, a critical condition must be met, and this is also a prerequisite for participating in the ICM Early Ride program: the product and business idea must possess unique innovation potential that contributes to the future of mobility. "Charging Time" meets these criteria. "We assist electric car drivers in finding the ideal charging stop for themselves and their families—intuitively and even spontaneously while driving. No other app provides this functionality," explains Jonas. The application achieves this by displaying all relevant charging stations along the route. Tapping on these stations opens a window with details on charging capacity, station status, and the operator. Additionally, supermarkets and places for refreshments in the café, fast food, and restaurant categories are clearly presented. The application integrates digital and user-generated data, with user needs serving as a crucial source of inspiration for new functions and information categories. One task on the developers' To-Do list is addressing the ambient lighting at the charging stations. While some drivers may feel uneasy in the dark, families with a sleeping child in the back seat may find it beneficial. The Charging Time community takes center stage here, and further solutions are to be collaboratively developed with and for them.

A small company with a big impact

Above all, the two founders are hopeful that their coach will assist them in building their team. "On your Route" aspires to be a small yet powerful company, where individuals enjoy coming together in the office to collaborate. A home for talented software developers with a creative spirit, including students. Jonas emphasizes the unique opportunities that startups offer, allowing individuals to quickly assume responsibilities and contribute to shaping the product in its early stages, even as students. In contrast, junior employees in larger companies often lack the creative freedom to directly add value for customers. Startups provide a broader scope for young professionals and students to experiment and engage actively, mirroring the founders' own experiences. The shift from being developers to taking on roles as financiers, PR professionals, salespeople, and HR personnel has brought an array of learning opportunities for both founders and potential employees, according to Felix.

Despite the company's growth, the primary focus remains on enhancing the app for users. "Charging Time" is set to soon be available for the Android operating system—a "gigantic small step" for the young company. The significance lies in expanding customer potential manifold. Though seemingly small in terms of technical challenges for the founders, Manuel expresses confidence in the capabilities of Jonas and Felix, citing the already available functions on iOS and the impressive skills of the autodidactic founders. With "On your Route," there is no need for apprehension regarding the app's new reach in the market.



Benjamin Büchner

Redaktion und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, InnovationsCampus Mobilität der Zukunft

E-Mail: medien(at)