Electric car drivers urged to use Google Maps trick to find chargers

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When searching on Google Maps, drivers can search in their local area for electric car chargers which contains detailed information. Motorists can also see which specific chargers there are at the location. When navigating the app, drivers can go to the “electric vehicle settings” tab and select their preferences.

This allows them to input which charger their vehicle has, showing them which stations have which chargers, including popular plugs like Type 2, CHAdeMO and Tesla.

Each location within the searched area shows how many charging outlets there are, what type it is and their power output.

It includes the location, opening hours and reviews from other EV drivers on the station’s conditions.

Michael Colijn, CEO of Heliox Group, spoke to Express.co.uk about how these new changes will help EV drivers and boost the adoption of the vehicle type.

He said: “Google’s recognition for EV charging accessibility is a bigger step than most think. 

“Now that Google Maps precisely locates the fastest EV charging stations for users, we are witnessing a successful handshake moment between big tech, municipalities, and EV charging providers. 

“Automotive decarbonisation requires all stakeholders to work hand in hand and this is a great example of how we can future-proof EV ownership. 

“This change will serve as an incredible tool for consumers and businesses that seek to further adopt EVs, providing a level of awareness and normality the industry needs to unlock its full potential.”

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In a similar fashion to fast-charging hubs, Mr Colijn added, Google’s new feature reduces the hurdle of accessibility.

He predicted that this will undoubtedly increase the demand for EV charging and will lead to greater appeal around EVs in general, as we know range anxiety is a key deterrent for consumers.

“With this growing appeal, forecourts will find themselves in a more reassuring position to switch away from gas stations and pivot towards fast-charging hubs,” Michael Colijn added.

“With forecourts like BP Pulse committing £1billion to rapid charging, Google’s new feature will spur more confidence to businesses who have committed to the growth of accessible rapid charging points.”

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At the end of October 2022, there were 35,778 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 21,378 charging locations. 

This represents a 35 percent increase in the number of charging devices since October 2021.

Mr Colijn concluded, saying: “Last month’s introduction of VED for EVs presents the perfect opportunity for local decision makers to show their support for this by collaborating with technology providers to further solidify the UK’s charging infrastructure. 

“As the UK plans to increase the EV chargers count to 300,000 by 2030, empowering the widespread awareness of fast public charging will see EV adoption increase significantly over the next decade. ”

The Google Maps app also allows drivers to show the fastest route, as well as a route which is the most fuel-efficient, even if it isn’t the fastest.

When looking for directions between two places, it will show drivers the relative estimated fuel savings and time difference between the two routes and choose the one that works best for them.

The most fuel-efficient routes are those with fewer hills, less traffic and constant speeds. If the motorist always wants the fastest route suggested they can stipulate this preference in settings.

Similarly, it will now allow drivers to pick their car’s engine type with petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric available as options.

It is estimated that the tool has already helped cut 500,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in the United States – the equivalent of taking 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road.

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