Google has added new functionality to its Maps product, allowing users to locate nearby EV charging stations as well as their real-time availability.

Launched yesterday, EV drivers can search for local charging stations simply by searching for ‘ev charging stations’ in the app.

Google Maps then brings up a list of nearby EV chargers. Further information, including the charging operator, number of chargers and live availability data can then be accessed by clicking on individual stations.

Additional information, photos, ratings and reviews of the stations will also be collated from other users.

The functionality is currently only available in the US and the UK. In the UK, network operators including Chargemaster, Ecotricity’s Electric Highway, SourceLondon, PodPoint and others have been included, with Chargepoint set to be added soon.

Image: Google has published the above image detailing how the real-time charging information can be used.

The new functionality could prove to be a challenger to Zap-Map, which has become the UK EV market’s go-to source of information regarding EV charging locations and availability.

Last month clean energy supplier Good Energy took a 12.9% stake in Zap-Map’s parent company in a heavily structured deal, and the two companies later told Current± about their plans to upscale the product’s functionality in the coming months.

It’s also not the first time Google has looked to use the functionality of its Maps service for the good of clean energy. Last year the tech giant partnered with energy giant E.On to roll out its ‘Sunroof’ service to the UK, which helps would-be solar PV adopters understand the potential benefits of installing solar on their homes.

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