Android Auto has been preparing better support for electric vehicles (EVs) for a while now, and a new change is now coming to Google Maps that will replace the default shortcut to search for gas stations to instead search for charging locations.
In a recent beta update to Android Auto, it was noticed by the folks at SmartDroid that enabling EV features led to showing a shortcut for charging stations within Google Maps where, typically, the navigation app would show a shortcut to search for gas stations.
That’s no mistake, as Google has since confirmed to The Verge that Maps for Android Auto will indeed start replacing the “gas stations” search shortcut in EVs. This functionality isn’t technically new, as it has been enabled in cars with Android Auto built-in (Polestar, etc.) since 2020. But the change is relatively new for the phone-based Android Auto platform.
To help people get the most relevant information when navigating, last year we added the ability for EV drivers to see a shortcut for charging stations instead of gas stations on Google Maps for Android Auto.
And, sure enough, when the Android Auto experience is set as an EV, Google Maps caters to the choice by showing options for charging stations prominently as SmartDroid shows.
Of course, you’ve also been able to manually search for “charging stations” in Maps on Android Auto, but this change rightly caters to the new vehicles and makes for a better, and slightly safer, experience as the search is now just a tap away.
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