We’re becoming used to Google Maps as a universal medium for our smartphone searches. Cinemas, restaurants and filling stations appear in a few seconds on our phone’s display, as well as the shortest route to reach them. Within this context it would make no sense to neglect e-vehicle charging points, so Google’s headquarters at Mountain View, California, recently saw the launch of a new feature for Android and iOS devices. It is now possible to insert the phrases “EV charging stations” or “EV charging” into the Google Maps search bar and the map will display charging points near the user’s location. The search can be widened simply by expanding the map, which will continue to display pins corresponding to charging stations, plus lots of useful information like the charging station’s power output, the type of current delivered and the times when the service is available.
On a global level many providers of e-vehicle charging services are already offering their own applications to locate their charging stations. One such programme is our Enel X Recharge, recently updated with new functions. It can also be used to book the station for charging the vehicle, so the user is not confronted on arrival by a charging point that is already in use. This new Google update provides an overview of the offer provided by a number of operators directly on Maps, which is one of the most frequently used route-finding Apps in the world. In the USA, where e-mobility has already made good progress in some states, the same screen shows the charging stations operated by all the providers present, with details of the number of available sockets and charging speeds. In Italy Enel X is now proceeding rapidly with its e-mobility investment Plan, which will see 2,500 charging stations installed by the end of this year. The multi-year plan envisages a comprehensive infrastructure covering the whole of Italy, where 7,000 charging stations will be available by 2020, rising to 14,000 by 2022.
The spread of e-culture and sustainable mobility is also enabled by everyday actions like consulting an App to find a service quickly. From today, for example, users will be able to check the route to their favourite supermarket, including a stop at the nearest charging station, all directly on the navigation App we’re used to using every day.
The future is also becoming electric on virtual maps, with pins coloured in Enel X violet.