For years, the knock against electric vehicles has been finding a place to charge up and how long it’ll take EV owners to do so. Google Maps is now taking the sting out of some of those problems.
“If you’ve ever driven to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station only to find that all ports are occupied,” wrote Alex Donaldson, project manager, Google Maps, in a blog post, “you know that you could end up waiting in line for anywhere between minutes to hours — which can really put a damper on your day when you have places to go and things to do.”
Google Maps will now show you the location and availability of charging stations when you use the search function. The feature was teased in a company blog post last fall, but now the tech giant is making it available in real time in the U.S. as well as the United Kingdom.
Users on desktop, iOS, Android and Android Auto (sorry CarPlay users) can find a place to get some juice and just how long it’ll take them to do so. The feature is available right now.
(Those winter chills take a hard toll on EV battery range. Click Here for the story.)
According to the company, users can simply search for “ev charging stations” to see up to date information from networks like Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect and soon, ChargePoint. Tesla chargers are also expected to be part of the system.
You’re able to view how many ports are currently available, along with other helpful details, like the business where the station is located, port types and charging speeds. Additionally, information about the station from other drivers, including photos, ratings, reviews and questions will be made available.
(Click Here for more about VW subsidiary buying Tesla Powerpacks for its charging stations.)
The upside to this kind of information is that while new charging stations are appearing across the country every week, they can have problems. They can go offline or if it’s in business parking lot, business owners may be a little cranky if you’re only coming in to charge up rather than buy stuff.
As the number of charging stations increases, so to will the value of this kind of service. With businesses like ChargePoint, EVgo and the Volkswagen-funded Electrify America looking to add more charge points – Tesla too – getting real-time info can be critical to someone who may be pushing the limits of their vehicle’s range.
(BCG study forecasts 50% of vehicles sold in 2030 will be “electrified.” For the story, Click Here.)