There’s little doubt that electric vehicles, or EVs, are becoming more popular with each passing year. But one thing that often keeps motorists from making the switch is their belief that charging an electric vehicle is less convenient than filling up at their local gas station. While EVs are certainly better for the environment, new drivers think that finding electric vehicle charging stations is an activity that will take up time and cause frustration.
But as EVs continue to become more prevalent, electric car charging stations do too. These vehicles are gradually becoming a more accepted mode of transportation, prompting the owners of countless businesses, hotels, and residential properties to install charging stations for the good of their employees, guests, tenants, and even the public at-large. In fact, as of December 2017, there were an estimated 20,178 public and private EV charging locations in the U.S., with nearly 87% providing public accessibility.
Finding a charging station
That said, certain parts of the country have more charging stations than others. In some areas, charging an electric vehicle may be extremely easy; in others, it may be better to install a charging station at home to avoid traveling great distances to boost the EV’s battery. But Google Maps is trying to make finding a charging station a no-brainer, thanks to an improved search function that shows EV drivers exactly what they need to know.
Drivers often use Google Maps to navigate to unfamiliar sites, and now they can search for a location to fuel an electric vehicle! It makes sense, for the app can easily locate gas stations and other important locales. When users type in “charging stations” or “EV charging,” nearby ports will appear on the screen. Next, users can click a location on the map to learn station types, charging speed, and even reviews from other drivers. The company has even said that it will provide charging station data for specific countries. In the United States, SemaConnect is one of the main networks featured.
Charging station accessibility and range anxiety are two of the biggest fears for people who have not yet bought an electric vehicle. With the new ability to search for charging stations on Google Maps, both existing and future EV owners can see that ports are more accessible than they think. Of course, adding more charging stations will help — but when you can visually see how easy it is to charge, skeptics might rethink their decision to stick with a traditional car.