What are the new Google Maps features for electric vehicle drivers?

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Google Maps has introduced several new features to meet the needs of electric car drivers. electric car drivers. They aim to simplify route planning, à make it easier to find charging stations and to energy consumption management. Whether it's a question of quickly finding a charging station for an electric car, or predicting the amount of recharging required for a long journey, Google Maps is now an indispensable tool. Discover these innovative features that will make your journeys easier and more efficient.

Also read → Charging stations are now on Google Maps

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1- Optimized route planning for electric vehicles

Integrating charging stations into routes

For electric vehicle drivers, Google Maps has integrated charging stations directly into itineraries. This innovation makes it much easier to plan long journeys, enabling electric car drivers to travel with complete peace of mind.

The number of public charging stations worldwide has soared (around 1.3 million by 2022), and this figure continues to grow rapidly. Google Maps uses this data to provide optimized itineraries that include stops at charging stations along the way.

Previously, electric vehicle drivers had to use several applications to plan their journeys, check the availability of charging stations and estimate their energy consumption. Now, all this information is centralized in a single application. By integrating charging stations into itineraries, Google Maps enables drivers to view and select the best charging options according to their route and current battery level.

Let's take the example of a Tesla driver planning a trip from Paris to Lyon. With the application, he can plan his itinerary, including stops at recharging stations. Tesla Supercharger strategically located along the route. Google Maps will show him not only the location of the stations, but also detailed information such as real-time availability of charging stations, types of connectors available and reviews from other users.

 

Thanks to the integration of charging stations into itineraries, Google Maps offers a complete and practical solution for electric vehicle drivers, turning every journey into a worry-free experience. This innovation makes electric vehicles more accessible and convenient, encouraging their widespread adoption.

Route energy consumption calculation

One of the major advances in Google Maps for electric vehicle drivers is the functionality for calculating energy consumption for routes. This new feature enables users to accurately predict their electric car recharge consumption according to their planned journey, thus optimizing their driving experience.

Energy consumption forecast

Google Maps uses advanced algorithms to estimate energy consumption, taking into account factors such as : 

 

  • the total distance, 
  • altitude, 
  • real-time traffic conditions, 
  • the vehicle's technical specifications. 

 

For example, a 200 km journey on flat ground will require less energy than an equivalent journey with many climbs.

 

According to a report from International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the average consumption of an electric vehicle ranges between 15 and 20 kWh per 100 km. Using this data, Google Maps can provide accurate estimates to help drivers plan their recharging.

 

Imagine the driver of a Renault Megane E-Techdriver planning a trip from Lyon to Grenoble, i.e. around 110 km with a moderate gradient. The average consumption of this car is around 17 kWh per 100 km. Google Maps could estimate that this journey will require around 18.7 kWh of energy (110 km x 17 kWh/100 km = 18.7 kWh).

 

For a more complex route, for example from Marseille to Nice, Google Maps will integrate altitude variations and traffic conditions. Such a journey, of around 200 km with significant uphill gradients, could consume around 34 kWh, taking into account increased consumption on uphill gradients and regenerative braking on downhill gradients.

Optimized charging

Thanks to this feature, drivers can better plan their recharging stops. If a planned journey exceeds the car'srange, Google Maps will suggest optimal recharging stations based on estimated consumption. For a 400 km journey with a Tesla Model 3 (400 km range at 15 kWh/100 km), the application will recommend strategic stops to ensure sufficient recharging.

By accurately calculating energy consumption for routes, it transforms the way electric vehicle drivers plan their journeys, making every journey more predictable and safer.

2- Search and navigation to charging stations

Location of electric car charging stations

Google Maps has significantly improved its search functionality to help electric vehicle drivers quickly locate nearby charging stations.

Thanks to the database, drivers can easily find charging stations for their electric vehicles. Google Maps integrates this information to provide accurate, up-to-date results. Users can search for charging stations simply by entering terms such as "electric car charging station or "electric car charging station in the search bar.


Google Maps offers real-time information on charging stations, including : 

 

  • terminal availability, 
  • the type of connectors available, 
  • charging power,
  • other users' opinions. 

 

What additional features are available?

Google Maps not only locates charging stations, but also offers additional features such as the ability to filter results according to connector type or charging power. This customization enables users to find exactly what they need, whether they're looking for fast DC charging or slower AC charging.

Detailed information on charging stations

Google Maps now informs drivers about the connector types available at each charging station. Commonly used connectors include Type 2 for charging in alternating current (AC)charging CCS (combined charging system) for rapid charging in direct current (DC)and the CHAdeMOmainly used by Asian vehicles for DC fast charging.

The number of terminals available

The number of charging points available at each station is crucial information for electric car drivers. Google Maps displays this information to help users avoid long waits and plan their charging stops more efficiently. A charging station with 10 available charging points has a higher probability of finding a free charging point than one with only 2.

City Number of charging stations Average number of terminals per station Available connector types
Paris
800
6
Type 2, CCS, CHAdeMO
Lyon
400
4
Type 2, CCS
Marseille
350
5
Type 2, CHAdeMO
Toulouse
300
3
Type 2, CCS, CHAdeMO
Bordeaux
250
4
Type 2, CCS

User feedback

User reviews are integrated into Google Maps to provide information on the reliability and performance of charging stations. Drivers can consult other users' ratings and comments on charging speed, availability and station condition. For example, a charging station in Paris with an average rating of 4.5 stars and positive comments on speed of service is more reliable than one with a lower rating and comments indicating frequent breakdowns.

3 - Managing electric vehicle consumption

Real-time monitoring of energy consumption

Google Maps navigation now integrates real-time tracking tools that allow electric car drivers to monitor energy consumption during their journeys. These tools take various factors into account to provide energy consumption data based on : 

 

  • speed, 
  • type of terrain,
  • traffic conditions. 


Drivers can use the information provided by Google Maps to adjust their driving style in real time. For example, by reducing speed on freeways or adopting a gentler driving style in town, they can significantly extend their vehicle's range. 

 

In addition to optimizing range, real-time tracking also enables more accurate forecasting of recharging requirements. If Google Maps detects that energy consumption is higher than expected due to difficult traffic conditions or climbs, it can suggest additional recharging stops along the way. This helps to avoid low-battery situations and plan recharges efficiently.

Proactive recharge alerts

Google Maps now introduces a proactive charging alerts feature to help drivers effectively manage their energy consumption. The feature sends notifications when battery levels become critical, suggesting the nearest charging stations based on consumption and planned route.

How do they work?

 

When the system detects that the battery is reaching a critical threshold, it sends a notification to the driver with suggestions for nearby recharging stations. By 2023, around 30% of EV users in Europe report using apps with similar functionality to manage their recharges, which proves the value of adding this feature to the app.

 

What's more, Google Maps suggestions don't just show the nearest stations. They also take into account the vehicle's energy consumption, real-time traffic conditions, and the planned route to suggest the most relevant options. 

 

Let's take the example of a driver of a Hyundai IONIQ 5 traveling from Lyon to Grenoble, a distance of around 110 km. If the battery falls below 15% remaining capacity, the application could send him an alert indicating available fast-charging stations in Bourgoin-Jallieu, located halfway along the route. This suggestion would be based on current consumption levels, traffic conditions and the location of the most convenient stations. Proactive charging alerts offer several advantages:

 

  • drivers avoid the stress of searching for a charging station in a hurry,

 

  • the application helps minimize detours and plan refills more efficiently,

 

  • they contribute to safer driving by ensuring that drivers are always aware of their battery level.

 

In a few figures, proactive charging and intelligent energy management can improve the overall efficiency of electric vehicles by 10-15%. What's more, the use of these technologies is on the rise, with estimated annual growth of 25% in terms of adoption by electric car users.

Conclusion

New features for electric vehicle drivers make journey planning and charging management easier and more reliable. With electric vehicle adoption growing by 40% a year worldwide, these tools are essential for hassle-free driving. With advanced integrations, real-time information and proactive alerts, Google Maps responds effectively to the needs of EV drivers, contributing to an optimized and serene driving experience.

Picture of Adrien-Maxime MENSAH
Adrien-Maxime MENSAH

If you believe in the electrification of vehicles, you're already halfway towards your ecological transition. That's why I'm offering you some content on the electric vehicle environment.

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