The work of a Google Maps developer is never done. The app began showing users the location of electric car charging stations in 2018, and an update released in April 2019 tells motorists in real time how many spots are free at a given location. It’s all part of the tech giant’s mission to make owning an electric car as convenient as driving one powered by gasoline or diesel.
The app provides useful information such as the number and types of ports available at each location, their charging speeds, and notes about the business where a station is located. You’ll know whether it’s near a Starbucks, or five miles away from the exact middle of nowhere. You’ll also find reviews from drivers who’ve already used the station, giving you the opportunity to choose the best one in the area — so long as you have enough juice left in your battery pack, that is.
To access the new Maps data, start by tapping in a few keywords such as “EV charging” or “EV charging stations.” The map will then populate with stations close to your current location, though you can search the map to find more further afield.
Many networks already have their own apps showing the locations of their charging stations, but Google Maps offers additional convenience by bringing many of the providers under the same roof — perfect if Google Maps is your go-to navigation app.
Globally, Google Maps offers data for Supercharger facilities operated by Tesla, and for stations run by Chargepoint. In the United States, you can add SemaConnect, EVgo, and Blink to the list. For England-based drivers, charging locations also show up for Chargemaster and Pod Point, while in Australia and New Zealand you’ll find information for Chargefox stations. Maps only provides availability information for stations in the United States and in England, however.
The new feature for Google Maps is available now for Android and iPhone devices, with desktop support launching in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you’re looking to purchase your first electric car, check out Digital Trends’ guide for a comprehensive look at how to ditch gasoline.
Updated April 23, 2019: Added Maps’ newest features.
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