Android Auto Update by Google Signals the Arrival of EVs

Recently, various tech publications highlighted a noteworthy change that Google implemented in Google Maps on Android Auto. 

Traditionally, one of the default options was a tool to locate nearby gas stations. However, Google has made a clever adjustment for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. When using Google Maps on an EV, the system recognizes the user’s preference for charging stations over gas, and accordingly, the tool to find EV charging stations takes precedence with just a tap.

Curious about this feature, I decided to test it out in my Bolt EUV. To my satisfaction, the system automatically recognized that I was in an EV and promptly offered me a list of charging stations instead of gas stations.

Upon clicking the link, I was presented with several nearby charging stations. However, the majority were Level 2 stations. Unfortunately, it even listed a Tesla destination charger that isn’t compatible with my car, despite knowing that an adapter would be required. 

Strangely, the station it recommended was outdated, as the city had replaced them with Chargepoint J-1772 stations. This highlights a flaw in the system’s data accuracy.

While I appreciated the ability to filter between Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations, the system lacked options for CCS or Tesla Supercharging and didn’t consider CHAdeMO either. 

When I selected the filter for 50 kW or higher, it displayed a CCS charger nearby (good), but also suggested a Tesla Supercharger (problematic, since Bolts can’t use those). 

Additionally, it didn’t account for the dealer chargers being closed at night or a closer CCS station than the one in El Paso.

Overall, the feature is promising, but it suffers from outdated information and a lack of customization options for station preferences based on the user’s vehicle. Google should address these shortcomings and work on integrating a trip planner to enhance usability.

It’s important to note that I’m using Android Auto on my phone, not Google Maps running directly on the car’s computer system. I’ve heard that vehicles equipped with built-in Google Maps offer better functionality in some aspects, and this has been the case for a while.

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