Driving an electric vehicle (EV) with Google Maps has been increasingly easy in recent years. Google has started adding new features to better support car owners who have ditched petrol in favor of electricity. You can use Google Maps to plan longer trips with EV charger stops. And Google Maps uses AI to suggest the right charging stop based on the traffic, current battery level, and energy consumption.
But until recently, Google Maps still showed gas stations to EV owners, even though they couldn’t have much use for them other than, say, stocking up on snacks. Google has now updated Google Maps so EV users see EV charging stations first and foremost. That’s another handy change that can improve the overall driving experience if you have an electric car.
“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,” Google’s Pearl Xu told The Verge.
Moreover, the spokesperson offered the following list of Google Maps features that cater to EV owners:
Real-time charging port availability: Just search for “ev charging stations” in Google Maps and you’ll see the real time availability of charging ports at nearby stations so you don’t have to wait in line.
Charging speed filters: The ‘very fast’ charging filter will help you easily find stations that have chargers of 150 kilowatts or higher. For many cars, this can give you enough power to fill up and get back on the road in less than 40 minutes. You can also use the “fast” chargers which will show you stations with chargers 50kW or higher.
Plug type filters: You can also filter for stations that offer your EV’s plug type so you only see stations with plugs that are compatible with your car.
Adding charging stops to trips: On any trip that’ll require a charging stop, Maps will suggest the best stop based on factors like current traffic, your charge level and expected energy consumption.
Charging stations in search results: We’ll also show you in search results when places like a supermarket have charging stations on-site. So if you’re on your way to pick up groceries, you can more easily choose a store that also lets you charge your car there.”
While Google Maps EV upgrades are great, you don’t have to use Google Maps if you like other navigation apps. Google’s app Waze also got support for EV charging stations earlier this year.