I’ve been driving a Nissan Leaf for the past year and a half, and while it gets through most of the day it’s still nice to know where I can top off the battery if I need to. Apps like PlugShare have been offering this function for a while now, but now Google is taking the lead, building the information into Google Maps.
All you have to do is plug in search terms including ‘ev charging’ or ‘EV charging stations’ and you’ll see the nearest Electric Vehicle Charging station.
As well as the usual photos, ratings, reviews and questions/answers you normally see in Google Maps entries, you’ll also see information about the business where the charging station is located, the types of ports available, charging speeds, and how many ports there are.
Businesses can also link to a charging station on-site from their Google Maps entry as well, letting you find a place to charge at your favourite local haunts.
Google has partnered up with Tesla and Chargepoint for global information, while locally here in Australia they’ve partnered with Chargefox to populate the data. In the US they’ve partnered with SemaConnect, EVgo and Blink, while in the UK Chargemaster and PodPoint are supplying the data.
A quick check around my current location sees at least two charging points I know of omitted, so there’s still room to improve on this implementation.
In a recent study by Kantar for Nissan at the launch of the new Nissan Leaf, they that nearly three quarters of consumers fear there is a lack of public charging infrastructure, while 73 per cent have concerns over how far they can drive on a single battery charge. Being able to find a charging point in a mainstream app like Google Maps could go a long way towards broadening Electric Vehicle adoption.
The feature is rolling out now, so do a search for ‘ev charging’ or ‘EV charging stations’ in Maps and see what options are around your area.