British and American EV drivers who use Google Maps will now be able to see the real time availability of charging ports right from the app itself.
Google announced the feature today, which is compatible with charge stations from popular networks such as Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect and eventually Chargepoint.
Users can simply type “EV charging stations” into the Google Maps search bar to use the feature, which will show them nearby how many ports are available at charging stations. It will also display details like port types and charging speeds.
“If you’ve ever driven to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station only to find that all ports are occupied, you know that you could end up waiting in line for anywhere between minutes to hours—which can really put a damper on your day when you have places to go and things to do,” Google said in a statement. “Starting today, you can see the real time availability of charging ports in the U.S. and U.K, right from Google Maps–so you can know if chargers are available before you head to a station.”
This feature will be helpful for owners of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is offered with standard Apple CarPlay and will thus be compatible with this function. Owners of other EVs like the Nissan Leaf will also benefit from it, although it does not appear as though this feature is compatible with Tesla’s network of charge stations.
A Google Maps update released late last year added a function that displays nearby EV charge stations along with relevant info such as the number of charge points located at the station, pricing and Google user reviews. This new update also gives users the ability to upload photos of the charge stations and adds a questions section.