Google Maps is missing a trick and Apple Maps is grabbing the opportunity.
When iOS 14 is released later this summer in the US and then further afield in the autumn, Apple Maps will show drivers routes based on the availability of public charging stations.
They'll be personalised, factoring in a driver's battery status, range, and EV model. That's huge for road trips. A drive up, say, California's iconic Highway 1 in an electric vehicle can be stressful. If you run out of juice miles away from a charging station, then what?
That stress is called "range anxiety" and it keeps many car buyers from choosing an EV. That's not great for the environment. "Uncertainty around access to charging stations has hindered widespread EV adoption for years," Mathias Lelievre, CEO of sustainability consulting group ENGIE Impact, told Mashable.
The new feature, however, "will help build the case for consumers looking to make the switch to an electric vehicle."
Type in "EV" or "EV charging" or "electric charging station" in Google Maps and it will spit out options. But it won't plan a route around EV pit stops. When it comes to EV features in maps, Apple is beating Google to the punch. Both Tesla and General Motors have offered them in their EVs for years.
It's odd that Apple Maps, the navigation app underdog, is pushing past Google Maps on this.
However, there is little doubt that Google Maps will rectify this in the coming months, so it will be good news all round for EV owners and, hopefully, persuade others to make the switch from fossil fuel cars to electric.
In Germany, the government has already made the decision to tackle 'range anxiety' by requiring that every petrol station in the country be obliged to install electric charger units, believing this will eradicate the single biggest block to wider adoption of EV by the public.