“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,” says Google in a blog post.
To fix this, Google announced on Wednesday that as of this week EV owners in the U.S. and the UK will be able to check in real time the availability of charging ports directly in Google Maps, so that a precious miles and valuable electricity is not wasted.
The new Maps service covers stations that belong to the Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect networks, but its scope will soon expand to include ChargePoint.
According to Google, Maps will show how many ports are available, where the charging station is located, port types and charging speeds. Just as with all other Maps locations, photos, ratings, reviews, and questions about any of the stations will also be available.
For the new feature to work, Google Maps needs to be updated to the latest version.
According to Statista, at the end of 2018 there were a little over 20,000 charging stations in the U.S. that offer more than double the number of charging ports. In the UK, as per Emu Analytics, the number of stations is of 16,500.