When you’re driving a conventional internal combustion engine (“ICE”) car, going for a long drive or even taking an interstate road trip isn’t a hassle. All you have to do is plan a route to your destination, and you’re ready to hit the road. But for EV drivers, things get a little complicated. Although electric vehicles produce minimal emissions and are cheaper to fuel and maintain over their lifetimes, finding a reliable public charger while on the road can be quite a hassle.
Range anxiety, or the fear of running out of juice without a charging station in sight, has kept many prospective drivers from purchasing an EV. To help curb this pervasive issue, Google has rolled out a new feature for electric vehicles with Google Maps built-in that will make drivers much more comfortable with the prospect of driving long distances. The feature will use Google’s artificial intelligence to find available charging stations that are convenient and in range and plan a suitable route for the driver.
With the exception of Tesla’s network of chargers, plenty of drivers who rely on public stations have a hard time finding charging sites that not only work but also have the specific plug their vehicle needs. That isn’t such a big issue when a driver is cruising around town with extra options in case one station is offline or doesn’t have your specific plug. But when you’re planning a trip and you can’t vouch for the reliability or convenience of the charging stations on the road, you may start questioning your choice of vehicle.
When you input a destination that requires two or more stops to recharge, Google’s routing algorithms use graph theory to sift through tens to thousands of charging stations to identify the most efficient route in under 10 seconds. You will see how long each charge at every station will take as well as your updated total trip time, allowing you to plan out your entire trip, including convenient recharging before you hit the road.
Google Maps will also provide a list of recharge points for shorter trips, allowing you to select the most suitable one. The app will show which charging stations are the fastest as well as the ones that are the closest to a coffee shop or grocery store. The feature will be rolled out to EVs with Android Automotive operating systems; at the moment, only the Volvo XC40 Recharge and the Polestar 2 fit the bill.
Google isn’t the only tech company venturing into the EV space. Through a reverse merger, Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), a global payments processing provider, plans to enter the electric vehicle space by partnering with Mullen Technologies Inc.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE
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