Google Maps adds electric-car charging locations


Electrify America 350 kw chargers at Home Depot in Chicopee, Mass.

Electrify America 350 kw chargers at Home Depot in Chicopee, Mass.

In a banner day for electric-car drivers, Google announced on Wednesday that it will add electric-car charging stations to Google Maps.

The app will now show Tesla Supercharging stations as well as ChargePoint, EVgo, Blink, and SemaConnect networks in the U.S. as well as networks in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. It will not include Electrify America, at least initially.

Google's announcement is especially helpful for drivers whose cars include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which can display the Google Maps app on the car's center screen for directions.

READ THIS: ChargePoint users can now access networks in Canada, Europe

Previously getting directions to a charger could be a hassle. Plenty of networks such as PlugShare, the government's Alternative Fuels Data Center and the network apps themselves include convenient maps of public chargers and even which ones are available and working.

What they don't do is show Google directions, traffic, satellite maps, and other points of interest, phone numbers and links to websites, as Google Maps does. They're also occasionally lacking a level of detail that allows users to find the charger once they're on a property—back by the dumpsters, for instance. 

Electric-car drivers who wanted Google Maps features and directions to find a charger were left flipping back and forth between apps, trying to find an appropriate charger and then navigate to it.

CHECK OUT: Electrify America maps out charging network to rival Tesla Superchargers

The Google Maps app will show what types of connectors are available, power levels, and pricing as well as ratings and user reviews.

The most obvious thing missing is whether a charging space is occupied or whether the charger is in use or out of order.

Starting yesterday the chargers began to show up on Google Maps' mobile apps when users search for "charging stations," "EV charging," or "electric-car chargers."  Type-A drivers who want to plan ahead using a home or laptop computer will have to wait a few weeks for more detailed information than the location and network to show up on the desktop version of Google Maps.

 
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