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Google Maps has launched a new feature that allows electric vehicle (EV) drivers to search for nearby charging stations, whilst providing real-time information on charger availability, charging speeds, customer reviews, and the type of chargers available.

An accessible and reliable charging network is critical to ensuring positive EV adoption as it goes a long way to eliminating range-anxiety, and any lingering doubts of the reliability of EV’s over fossil-fuelled vehicles.

The new feature is an update on previous functionality – previously EV drivers have been able to simply search for “ev charging stations” in Google Maps, to be shown the location of nearby charging facilities, but the new version also provides live updates on chargers in use, and other vital info, adding real-time convenience and accessibility for users.

The feature currently works in the US and UK, and includes information on thousands of charging facilities by Chargemaster, EVgo, and SemaConnect, with more to follow, although Tesla’s chargers are notably absent, although static information on the EV marque’s charging locations can still be found. Tesla’s in-car navigation system provides live information on their Supercharger facilities.

Both charging network companies and automakers are taking steps to install more charging points, and remove small barriers to adoption for EV drivers, such as EVgo, which is rolling out automated charging technology that will initiate charging without a driver needing to use an application or payment card.

By removing the small barriers to charging electric vehicles, automakers and cities can make the idea of owning one more appealing to consumers.