For EV owners, charging anxiety is a real thing. In certain areas of the country, charging stations are scarce, crowded, and sometimes difficult to find. The navigation app Waze aims to help solve that issue with a new feature. Over the next few weeks, an update to the Waze app will roll out that allows EV owners to see nearby charging stations on their maps.
The feature doesn’t just show EV drivers where the station is — it will also let the driver know if the charging station is compatible with their particular vehicle. This should reduce the danger of a Nissan Leaf owner rolling up to a Tesla Supercharging Station with 1% battery left and no hope of getting to an area where they can actually charge their EV.
The feature will roll out worldwide, and like other aspects of the Waze app, it will rely on the app’s users to keep it accurate. Other aspects of Waze use this system, but instead of spotting police speed traps, users will be reporting whether a charger is functional and the correct type in this particular case. Waze’s EV charging point feature will be rolling out globally, so soon you should be able to use it on short and long trips, wherever you are in the world.
Charging point access is one of the biggest EV issues
Electric vehicles aren’t perfect, but progress is constantly being made. One of the areas that need to improve if government targets on EV uptake are to be met is access to charging ports. There simply aren’t enough in many areas of the country, the ones that exist aren’t spaced out enough to facilitate many long-distance trips, and the ones that do exist may be out of order or occupied. Things are improving, though.
As things stand, there are around 50,000 charging stations in the United States. That’s around a third of the total number of gas stations currently operating in the country. Plans are in place to install half a million additional charging stations over the next few years. Major companies like Tesla, General Motors, Pilot, BP, Hertz, and EVGo are all on board with the plan and investing heavily in charging infrastructure. The issue is a bit more complex than charging stations alone.
Battery technology will have to keep improving to win people over. Some high-end EVs can get 500 miles from a single charge, but the average electric vehicle currently manages less than half of that. Then there are upgrades to the power grid which will need to be made if millions of new EVs will be relying on it as a fuel source. These are all plans for the future, and charging anxiety isn’t going away any time soon. But hopefully, Waze’s new feature helps take the edge off it a little bit.