If you're driving an electric vehicle, there's a lot of information which will be really useful to you. Estimated range, charging speed – both of those are handy to ensure you don't get stranded somewhere without charge.
One thing that isn't particularly useful is knowing where the nearest petrol station is. And yet, that's still the default option served to drivers on the Google Maps app. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Users have had the option of configuring their settings to promote charging stations instead since last year.
Now, Google has reportedly demoted the appearance of petrol stations when it senses that users are driving an EV. That happens when users are employing Android Auto to mirror their Android phone display on the in car infotainment system.
It's not the only EV-centric feature which can be found, either. For example, when charging points show up on the map, users can also see real-time data about the availability of them.
That's a fantastic feature. One of my biggest gripes with EV charging is that there just isn't enough about. If a spot is especially popular, you can quickly become part of a long queue of cars waiting for a top up.
There are also charging speed filters. That means you can quickly pick out a spot that has superfast charging if you're in a hurry. You can even configure the system to only identify chargers that use the right type of connection for your vehicle. That's probably more useful if you aren't using the standard type 2 connector, as those are most common.
You'll also get stop suggestions on longer trips, which takes data from the car's computer to give insight on the best place to top up along your route. And, if you're searching for something else – say a supermarket – the app will highlight ones with charging spots available. That's perfect for adding a little more juice as you go about your day, without having to pull over and wait for a full charge to complete.
It's a great set of features. Each one will make a real difference to the lives of users, and help to fix potential issues that arise from EV ownership.