An updated version of Google Maps for Android and iPhone is rolling out with the option to search for electric vehicle stations with fast chargers, according to CNBC. Search for “EV charger” or “charging station” with the updated app and a new option appears that tells Google Maps to show only fast charging stations, defined as those with at least 50 kW of power, and sort by the type of connector you need for your car — CCS, J1772, Tesla, or CHAdeMo. The update is available in all countries where EV charging stations are available, according to Google.
Another feature that was added as part of another recent update allows users to tailor route planning to their specific vehicle, whether it is powered by an internal combustion engine or electric. If you select that you’re driving an EV, it will not only consider how to get you to your destination most efficiently and quickly but should also factor in that you might need to charge along the way. Theoretically, this means there is much less chance of becoming stranded in between chargers — although, it’s not quite a complete EV route planner yet.
The Tesla route planner is still the class of the field when it come to ease of use and convenience, but it is wonderful that others are bringing similar functionality to all electric car drivers. At the present time, A Better Route Planner is arguably the best non-Tesla app for planning a road trip in an electric car. The ability to find an available charger is a significant component of the dreaded “range anxiety” that makes a lot of newcomers to the world of electric cars nervous. Anything that reduces the fear of EVs is welcome news indeed.
There is one other feature of the updated Google Maps that people will want to know about. Starting next week, a feature called “Search with Live View” will let you use your phone camera to find out what’s around you.
When you hold up your phone, for example, and tap the camera icon in Maps, you’ll see nearby landmarks, parks, hotels, restaurants, bars, banks and ATMs. You’ll also see info such as how busy the location is, whether it’s open, what the price range is, and how it’s rated by Google Maps users. The feature will first launch in six major cities — New York, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Paris.
What Determines If This Google Maps Feature Is A Success?
Hopefully, the new EV charger search function will be smart enough to know when a charger is broken or otherwise unavailable, the way the route planning software in the new Hyundai EV6 does. There is nothing more disconcerting than planning a stop to recharge your battery only to find the equipment you need is unavailable. Failures like that can sour people on the EV experience very quickly.
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