EV owners could get a sweet free upgrade thanks to Android Auto

Electric vehicle users are getting more personalisation options than ever before

Android Auto
(Image credit: Google)

With the impending changes coming to the motor industry, many drivers are beginning to consider purchasing an EV. The market has grown substantially in recent years, with over 150,000 new electric vehicle registrations so far in 2023.

When it comes to the infotainment system in EVs, there are a few different options. Some manufacturers have opted to take things into their own hands, designing a proprietary system for their vehicles. Others have used systems like Android Automotive, which is an operating system designed specifically for the head unit of a car.

If they opt for neither of those, though, there's always the option to simply mirror your phone display. Android Auto – or Apple CarPlay if you use an iPhone – is the system used to do that. Now, Android Auto has got a host of cool upgrades to make the system more useful for electric vehicle users.

That's according to 9to5Google, who have taken a dive into the code behind the Android Auto system. That has provided some insight into what may be coming for users.

The majority of the changes are focused around identifying that your car is an electric vehicle within the system. Users will be able to manually specify that, allowing them to toggle further information in apps like Google Maps.

For example, users will be able to select the kind of charger used on their vehicle. That, presumably, will feed into the information about charging stations contained in navigation apps, to ensure that the proposed pit stop location is suitable for your vehicle. Options are listed for various types of charger, including J1772, CCS (Combo 1 and 2), Type 2, and CHAdeMO.

Interestingly, there was no inclusion for the NACS charger used on devices like Tesla. That might have made sense initially – Tesla has always used an in-house software for their system. But that charging standard has recently been adopted by other manufacturers, such as Ford, who use Android Auto in their vehicles.

The deep dive also unearthed strings of code relating to battery level. That could mean that information will be displayed directly through the Android Auto system, though it wasn't fully formed enough to be sure.

There's no confirmation of when these features will go live – or even if they will altogether. These codebreaking efforts are useful for insight, but there's no guarantee they'll make it out to the public. I hope they do, though. The features would make the experience in an electric vehicle even slicker.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.