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Google Is Trying to Solve One of Americans' Top Concerns About Having an EV Do you have "range anxiety?"

By Catherine Boudreau

Key Takeaways

  • Americans' top concerns about buying an EV are finding chargers and "range anxiety."
  • Google is updating in-car maps and its travel site with more information about EV chargers.
  • Google's new tools come as EV sales are slower than analysts expected.
Google Maps via Business Insider
EVs with Google's built-in maps should show nearby chargers along the route in the coming months.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Finding a charger is one of the top concerns about buying an electric vehicle, whether drivers are running errands or planning a longer road trip.

Google is trying to make that easier with several new updates to its maps and travel site.

In the next several months, vehicles with Google's built-in maps will start showing nearby chargers along the route with real-time information about port availability and speed.

For long trips, the maps will also suggest charging stops along the way based on a battery's charge level. Eight automakers, including Volvo and Honda, come with Google built-in, and several more like Ford are expected to be compatible soon.

A screenshot of a multi-stop route on Google Maps showing the best places to charge an EV.

Google Maps via BI

Two other updates will help all EV drivers — not just those with Google built-in technology. For those hard-to-find charging stations, like in multilevel parking garages, Google Maps will start showing AI-powered summaries to help drivers navigate to these locations. The information is based on millions of user reviews.

Google Travel also has a new EV filter so vacationers can see what hotels offer charging.

The updates come as EV sales hit record levels last year, but were slower than analysts expected. Tesla just reported its lowest quarterly deliveries since 2022 and legacy automakers like Ford are delaying the release of some EV models in favor of hybrids that are gas- and battery-powered.

Industry analysts have pointed to several factors, including insufficient charging infrastructure and not enough affordable EV options.

In an Ipsos survey of more than 1,000 Americans last fall, only 31% of respondents said it was likely their next vehicle purchase would be electric. The top concerns were the lack of charging stations and driving range, as well as the overall cost compared to gas vehicles. Less than a third of those surveyed said they knew about federal tax breaks for EVs.

For its part, Google aims to help ease some of that "range anxiety" by building on several other tools for EV drivers.

Real-time charging availability is already searchable in Google Maps and users can filter them based on speed and plug type.

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