Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google Maps to Show Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locations

Google has taken yet another step to help people find everything from the nearest grocery store to photos of the neighborhood dog.  And now Google will show you where to charge your electric car.  The new service, called Electric Car Stations, was created as part of the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Center.

The Electric Car Stations service is a community-based source of information on local electric recharging stations.  Through Google Maps, members enter the locations of charging stations, complete with photos, hours of operation, and any pertinent comments. And if you have an iPhone you can go one better - there's an App for that!  The PlugShare app allows users to update information while on the fly (or at least on the road).

The Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Center can be found online here.  The color-coded map lets you know the best, and the worst, states for finding a station.  Not surprisingly California boasts over 500 stations (but don't expect to recharge on your trip through the oil state of Oklahoma).  The site also provides information on other alternative fuels like compressed natural gas, high ethanol blends, propane, biodiesel, liquified natural gas, and even hydrogen.

By the way, this isn't just limited to the United States.  Google Maps also has data for electric vehicle charging stations in Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, Madrid and Stockholm.  Search the keywords "ev charging station" and add the location to get an address and phone number.

As more stations are added, Google (and members) will update the database.  Right now there are over 600 charging stations in the US listed.  More to come.

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