Finding EV Charging Stations Near You with Google Maps
Google recently (mid-October) added EV charging station information to Google Maps, lessening the challenge drivers usually encounter in locating nearby charging stations for their electric cars.
There are other apps one may use to locate close-by EV charging stations, but given the ubiquity of the Android operating system and Google’s services in general, it makes sense that Google Maps might be the easiest and most intuitive option for most people.
We break down the process of using Google Maps to find EV charging stations.
The electric vehicle industry has brought in its own vocabulary. For clarity, we will define a few of the key terminologies.
- Electric car – a plug-in electric automobile which is propelled by one or several electric motors. The motors use energy typically stored in rechargeable batteries – hence the need for charging stations.
- Plug-in vehicle – any vehicle which can be recharged from an external electricity source.
- Electronic vehicle charging station – also known as EV charging station, EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment), electric recharging point, and ECS (electronic charging station).
- Public charging stations – typically located on-street and are provided by electric utility companies. You can also find them in retail shopping centers, operated by private companies.
Other Apps People Use to Find EV Charging Stations
If you are in the US, network operators like EVgo and ChargePoint have created smartphones apps that make it easier to locate a charging station within the network or with the network’s partners.
For instance, the ChargePoint app will direct you not only to ChargePoint stations, but also to Blink and EVgo stations.
There are similar networks in other countries, and they too have their own locator apps for their local drivers.
How to Use Google Maps to Locate EV Charging Stations
Google added a feature to Google Maps which makes it possible for users to get helpful information about nearby EV charging stations.
All you have to do is run a quick search using relevant keywords like “EV charging station” or “ev charging”. In response, the app will generate a list of the nearest supported stations.
That is not all, however. Since, it may be difficult to make a decision on which station is most appropriate for you, the app will also display relevant information about the business where the charging station is located, the available port types, charging speeds, and number of ports.
The app will also display information about each charging station as provided by drivers who have used it in the past – information like ratings, photos, reviews, and questions.
To make the process even easier for users, businesses that have charging stations will feature a link to charger information.
At the moment, Google Maps supports the following charging stations:
-US: SemaConnect, Blink, EVgo
-UK: Pod Point, Chargemaster
-Australia and New Zealand: Chargefox
-Global: Chargepoint, Tesla
If you are an Android or iOS user, update your Google Maps app from the App Store or Play Store. If you are a desktop user, Google has stated that support for desktop Google Maps will be added in coming weeks.