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Google Maps update adds more features for EV charging stations

by Dennis Mathu
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Electric vehicles (EV) are becoming more popular every day and Google is updating its Maps service to be more convenient to EV drivers.

According to a Google blog post, Maps now distinguishes chargers with a power level of 150 kw or higher with a “very fast” filter as part of a recent update. It will also recommend the best charging stop for vehicles that have Google built-in, which gives Google access to state-of-charge information.

Polestar, Volvo, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Honda, Ford, and Renault are among the brands that currently offer Google built-in on at least some of their models. It makes the Google ecosystem of apps the default for a vehicle’s infotainment system, allowing Maps to replace, for example, a generic navigation app. This is a more comprehensive integration than Android Auto, which merely displays content from a phone on the car’s display screen.

Google has also added charging information to point-of-interest search results. When searching for supermarkets, for example, it will now show which ones have on-site charging. The company also discussed new ways for smartphone users to locate charging stations once they arrive, such as augmented reality overlays and “glanceable directions” that display the next turn and an updated arrival time on a phone’s lock screen. This updated Maps app will be available for both Android and iOS.

Drivers of these EVs should be routed to the fastest nearby charger with this added functionality, eliminating the need to sift through a list of chargers or consult multiple apps.

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