After WWDC, electric car owners might want to consider Apple Maps over Google Maps.
In iOS 14, Apple Maps will show drivers routes based on the availability of public charging stations. They’ll be personalized, factoring in a driver’s battery status, range, and EV model.
That’s huge for road trips. A drive up, say, California’s iconic Highway 1 in an electric vehicle can be stressful. If you run out of juice miles away from a charging station, then what?
That stress is called “range anxiety” and it keeps many car buyers from choosing an EV. That’s not great for the environment, especially considering CO2 levels hit a record high in May.
“Uncertainty around access to charging stations has hindered widespread [EV] adoption for years,” said Mathias Lelievre, CEO of sustainability consulting group ENGIE Impact. The new feature, however, “will help build the case for consumers looking to make the switch to an electric vehicle.”
Type in “EV” or “EV charging” or “electric charging station” in Google Maps and it will spit out options. But it won’t plan a route around EV pit stops.
When it comes to EV features in maps, Apple is beating Google to the punch. Both Tesla and General Motors have offered them in their EVs for years.
It’s odd that Apple Maps, the navigation app underdog, is pushing past Google Maps on this. Google Maps was ahead of the curve back in 2018 when it made it as easy to find a charging station as it was to find a gas station.
Google will eventually be directly integrated into electric vehicles. Up first: the all-electric Polestar 2 from Volvo’s performance brand, which is scheduled to arrive this summer.
But until Google steps up its game, Apple Maps is the clear choice for EV owners.
Overall, the feature is a step toward getting the “EV adoption that we all collectively want,” said Matt Stevens, vice president of electric vehicles at fleet management company Geotab. It’ll be especially useful for drivers who can’t charge their EVs at home.
The new Apple Maps will arrive as part of the iOS 14 public beta in July, and a wide release in the fall.