Mar 252011

Google, the search engine giant, has announced that it has starting displaying electric car charging points on its Google Maps pages. The idea is meant encourage motorists to buy electric cars and act as a resource for those that already own one.

When using the search terms ‘EV charging stations’ or similar, Google Maps will automatically pinpoint the town, city or region you are in and the nearest charging point to you. It is also possible to input the postcode of your exact location, but those using smartphones will be picked up automatically by their IP address. The results will then indicate the quickest route to the nearest charging point.

Some electric cars already have maps installed on their onboard computer systems, but as Google updates frequently, those using Maps will always be up to date as new charging points are added. It is also possible to input your journey details so you can visit charging points along the way.

Some people considering buying an electric car are put off by the prospect of having to locate charging stations. In most cases, however, the cars are hybrids, which have a both a combustion engine and a battery-powered motor, negating the need to rely solely charging stations.

Charging Electric Car - Google Maps EV

Charging Electric Car - Google Maps EV

As EV charging stations become more common, it is expected that more people will start using electric vehicles. Many hybrid manufacturers have started offering a plug-in feature with their dual-powered vehicles which allows an extra boost in mileage. The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, for example, can cover 93.5mpg, compared to only 48.4mpg for the non plug-in version.

Another apparent attempt by Google to get more electric cars on the road is its website RechargeIT. The online resource provides information about the latest electric car models and statistics to help potential EV owners make an informed decision. The company also pushes its employees to drive electric cars in an attempt to put an end to the polluting combustion-engines. In addition, Google works alongside the US Department of Energy to promote the use of renewable energy in business.

With more and more manufacturers releasing electric vehicles, the search engine giant’s unique electric charging station locater is set to be an exceptionally useful tool. There are plans to roll it out across all of Google’s domains in Canada, Europe and Asia after trials in the US and the UK.

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