No longer do you have to end up at a charging station with slow charging speeds.
Owners of electric vehicles will be happy to hear about the latest update to Google Maps that is rolling out now for both Android and iPhone users. The app now has a new filter that allows users to locate fast-charging stations specifically. This will prevent you from ending up at the closest charger that may not charge at the maximum speed that your EV is compatible with, thereby saving you time on your journey.
Previously, EV owners could search for charging stations based on plug compatibility, but this latest change is a welcome update that singles out fast-charging stations that can charge at 50 kilowatts or higher. Finding a fast charger is especially useful for owners of EVs like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, both of which can charge at up to 350 kW.
Because charging your EV will never be as straightforward as filling up with gas, Google is joining companies like Electrify America and EVgo to make the charging experience as easy as possible. A few months ago, Electrify America announced that it would be rebranding its charging stations with new names and symbols so that users can more easily figure out which charger to use. EVgo's Autocharge+ functionality, meanwhile, makes beginning the charging process and paying for it less of a chore.
While none of these changes are groundbreaking in isolation, the cumulative effect of them all is that owning an EV and keeping it charged is gradually becoming easier over time, which will help make road trips in electric cars much more viable.
Google has been making great inroads into the automotive space in recent months. Many automakers like Volvo have introduced new-generation infotainment systems with Google built in, allowing seamless access to Google Maps, Google Play, and Google-based speech-to-text services. Earlier in the year, the tech giant also introduced new map routes that will save you the most gas, and it promised that new routes are on the way that are tailored to EVs and plug-in hybrids.
Of course, none of these new features from Google, Electrify America, or the automakers themselves can make up for a charging infrastructure that still needs improving. Until that happens, at least technology is making EV ownership as painless as possible.