In a recent update that's sure to please electric vehicle (EV) owners, Google Maps has made some noteworthy changes. This week, for those using the Android Auto system, gas stations were shifted further down the list of interest categories.
The move was confirmed by Google, and the motivation behind it is clear: as the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, so should the ease with which their drivers can find charging options.
A Nod to the Electric Revolution
“To help people get the most relevant information when navigating, last year we added the ability for EV drivers to see a shortcut for charging stations instead of gas stations on Google Maps for Android Auto,” shared Google spokesperson Pearl Xu in a conversation with The Verge.
Notably, this feature has been available for vehicles with Google's built-in software since 2020, underlining Google's forward-thinking approach.
Redefining EV Navigation on Google Maps
Pearl Xu highlighted the suite of features that Google Maps now offers specifically catering to the needs of EV drivers: Real-time Charger Availability: By simply entering "ev charging stations" into the Google Maps search bar, drivers can receive up-to-the-minute details on available charging ports in their vicinity.
This ensures they won’t waste time waiting in queues. Charging Speed Filters: This feature aids drivers in finding the quickest charging stations. For many electric vehicles, chargers with a power output of 150 kW can recharge batteries in under 40 minutes.
Furthermore, users can also locate fast chargers with power levels of 50 kW or more. Plug Compatibility: To avoid compatibility issues, drivers can filter out charging stations by the type of plug they need. This means only stations that match the vehicle’s plug type will be displayed.
Travel Route Charging Suggestions: Recognizing that long journeys often require EVs to recharge en route, Google Maps now proposes ideal charging spots based on various criteria including traffic conditions, battery status, and anticipated power use.
Charging While Shopping: If a trip to the grocery store is in the cards, Google Maps also displays supermarkets equipped with chargers. This double-duty feature ensures that while users shop, their EV gets charged. As the world leans more towards green and sustainable transport solutions, these enhancements from Google Maps reflect an evolving digital landscape in tandem with the global push towards electric vehicles.