Google Maps has gotten smarter with regards to electric vehicles than I ever thought possible. The Android Auto version of Google Maps now has some special features for electric vehicles to squash any concern. (Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the phone app is still much more limited — since it doesn’t know what car you’re driving and isn’t tied into the car’s powertrain.)
Google Maps will now tell you your estimated battery level at arrival when you put a route into the navigation. In 2015, when Tesla introduced this feature into its cars, CEO Elon Musk said it would be the end of “range anxiety.” Indeed, it helps a lot to make it clear to the driver if you will get to your destination easily or if you should charge somewhere along the way. And the estimate does update as you drive.
Furthermore, Google Maps will look for fast chargers along your route and identify them for you in case you want to fast charge. You can add charging stations to your driving route before leaving or while on the way. “If you add a charging station along the route, you’ll find a recommended minimum charging time,” Google writes. “Charging times vary by the car’s battery on arrival, the car’s charging capabilities, and the station’s charging speed.”
Going one step further, Google will also provide you with “battery alerts.” Here are a few more details from Google itself:
While navigating to a destination:
- If your battery on arrival is low, you’ll get a low battery alert .
- If your destination is unreachable without charging, you’ll get an out of battery range alert .
You’ll be prompted to add a charging station to your route:
- Tap Add charging stop.
- Select a charging station.
- Tap Add stop Confirm .
Without a doubt, this will make driving a non-Tesla electric car much more convenient, enjoyable, and accessible to normal people. If it’s 70% as good as Tesla’s brilliant navigation (and I’d personally expect it to be closer to 100% as good), it makes driving an electric car exceedingly thoughtless and easy.
Featured image courtesy Ford