On the heels of last week's dire UN report detailing the disastrous effects of climate change that scientists believe will take effect by at least 2040, Google released a bit of news that they hope will nudge people in the right direction.
On Tuesday, Google Maps unveiled a new feature that will make it easier to find charging stations for your electric vehicle no matter where you are in the world. Google Maps Product Manager Andrew Foster said anyone with the app just needs to update it from either the App Store or Play Store.
"We built Google Maps to help people get where they need to go no matter what mode of transportation they use," he said.
"A quick search for keywords like 'ev charging' or 'EV charging stations' will display the nearest supported stations. To help you make a quick decision about which station to use, we'll show you information about the business where the station is located, the types of ports available, charging speeds, and how many ports there are."
Globally, Google Maps said it supports Tesla and Chargepoint stations. In the US it also supports SemaConnect, EVgo, and Blink. In the UK, users can find Chargemaster and Pod Point charging stations, while in Australia and New Zealand you'll be able to search for Chargefox ev stations.
"Our newest feature brings helpful information about electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the Map, so you can be confident that your car will be charged and ready for your ride, wherever you're headed," Foster wrote.
Along with the location of EV stations in your area, you'll get detailed information about the businesses and the chargers available as well as photos, ratings and reviews from drivers near you.
Google has long shown EV stations on Google Maps, but now they will be more prominent on the app with more information about them. There are a bunch of apps that electric car owners have been using for years to get information like this, including Plugshare, Open Charge Map, ChargeHub and Chargemap.
Google has been more proactive than other giant tech corporations in addressing climate change, announcing in April that it offsets the amount of electricity used by its offices and data centers by purchasing energy from renewable sources like wind and solar.
"What do we mean by "matching" renewable energy? Over the course of 2017, across the globe, for every kilowatt hour of electricity we consumed, we purchased a kilowatt hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm that was built specifically for Google," wrote senior vice president Urs Hölzle.
"This makes us the first public Cloud, and company of our size, to have achieved this feat."
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- Google Maps will now show EV charging stations more prominently on the app globally.
- Users will also have access to more information about charging ports and the businesses that offer them.
- Google Maps unveils new features for commuters, and music controls
- Google Maps integrates star ratings for businesses directly into the map
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- Google Maps adds detailed commute information (CNET)
- Google Maps gets new features for commuters (ZDNet)
- Google to release DeepMind's StreetLearn for teaching machine-learning agents to navigate cities (TechRepublic)