Google Maps has just received an update with several new features, headlined by a new search filter that lets users find fast-charging EV stations in India. Users can now find stations with chargers rated 50kW or higher for a faster top-up. To use the feature, search for “EV charging stations” on the Maps app, then select the “Fast charge” filter.
Additionally, users can also choose to see search results based on the charging plugs that are compatible with their car. Both features are live widely on Android and iOS across countries where EV charging stations are available.
India has seen a surge in EV demand owing to the sharp rise in petrol prices in conjunction with the reduction of GST on EVs from 12% to 5%. According to government data from July 2022, EV sales rose from 1.19 lakh in 2020, to 3.11 lakh in 2021, and 4.19 in 2022 (until July). With the ever-increasing presence of EVs on the road also comes an expansion of EV charging infrastructure. The Delhi government recently announced 100 new e-charging stations in urban and rural areas, with 500 fast and slow charging points.
The new Google Maps feature will make it easier than ever for EV owners to find charging stations that will best serve their needs.
Alongside the EV charging-related additions, Google Maps is also expanding ‘Accessible Places’ and ‘Live View’ availability.
Accessible Places lets people know if a destination is wheelchair accessible. The feature was launched in 2020 in select countries, but Google’s now announced that it’s available globally on Android and iOS. To use the feature, turn on the “Accessible Places” setting in the Google Maps app.
Meanwhile, Live View is an augmented reality feature that lets users view nearby places like stores, coffee shops, banks, and ATMs through their phone’s camera. Simply tap on the camera icon on the search bar above in the Maps app to use it. Note that the feature isn’t available in India right now, and is being rolled out only in cities like London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.