New EV features for Google Maps have arrived. Here’s how to use them.

Google has announced new features in its Maps app designed to help electric car drivers find charging.

Updates include a tool to help drivers find nearby chargers with real-time information on availability and charging speed, the ability to find charging stops on long trips and more detailed instructions on how to find chargers in parking lots and garages.

Google plans to begin rolling out these features “in the coming months,” according to a blog post. Some will primarily concern people who drive a car equipped with “Google Built-in”, the company’s driving assistance software. Google updated its other route-finding app, Waze, with information about electric vehicle chargers last month.

The update addresses one of Americans’ biggest concerns about electric vehicle ownership: finding a place to charge. Range anxiety remains a significant barrier to electric vehicle sales, especially for drivers who don’t own a home. Among people who don’t drive an electric vehicle, about half say they think it would be “extremely” or “very” difficult to find a place to charge, according to a 2023 poll by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland.

Electric vehicles account for about 7% of new car sales in the United States, which some experts say is a tipping point at which electric cars will quickly become popular and take over the market. But lately, the electric vehicle market seems to be calming down. Sales slowed in the first quarter of this year.

In addition to building more charging stations, companies can make driving an electric vehicle easier by creating apps that help drivers find chargers, said Stephanie Valdez Streaty, director of Industry Insights at Cox Automotive. “That could be really helpful in alleviating some of those concerns about anxiety around charges,” she said.

Find available electric vehicle charging stations

For electric car drivers who need a last-minute charge, Google is developing a feature to find nearby chargers with updated information on the number of available ports and their charging speed. The company says this feature will eventually be available to all drivers, but will first be available to drivers with Google Built-in.

Plan a road trip with electric vehicle charging stops

The Maps update will allow owners of electric vehicles with Google Built-in to plan where they can charge during long trips. with multiple stops, like a cross-country road trip. The feature will access information about your car’s battery life to suggest the best places to charge.

The company also announced a search feature allowing travelers to search for hotels with electric car chargers.

Locate hard-to-find electric vehicle charging stations

Some electric vehicle chargers are tucked away in hard-to-find corners of parking lots. The Maps update will gather information from Google reviewers to generate more detailed instructions on how to access a charger. According to the company blog, the instructions might look like this: “Enter the underground parking lot and follow the signs to the exit. Just before exiting, turn right.

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