Electric vehicle owners who prefer Waze to other navigation tools, rejoice: the Google-owned company is adding EV charging stations to its route planning tools in an effort to improve the experience for plug seekers.
Starting today, Waze users can input their vehicle information into the app, as well as their preferred plug type, and Waze will find the nearest stations along their route. The feature will roll out to users globally in the “coming weeks,” the company says. (How it will work at launch is up for debate: some users were reporting being routed to gas stations instead of EV chargers.)
Waze briefly trialed adding EV chargers to its route planning tool back in 2021 in partnership with Volkswagen. But that trial only lasted a few weeks, and after it concluded, the charging stations vanished from the app. With today’s announcement, Waze has added EV charging “permanently” to the app, a company spokesperson said.
Waze also claims that thanks to its crowdsourced map editing function, “EV data is reviewed and updated in real-time to provide the most accurate, comprehensive information to the map.”
“Charging station information is often inconsistent, outdated or unreliable, creating a major pain point for EV drivers who may navigate to a charging station only to discover they can’t find it or use it,” Waze says in a blog post. “By adding up-to-date EV charging information to the Waze map, it’s even easier to charge your car and get help finding where or when you’ll come across the next station.”
Waze is not the only navigation app trying to improve the experience of finding a working EV charger. Google, which owns Waze, has been tweaking its own flagship app, Google Maps, including information about the types of plugs present at certain charging stations and whether those plugs are currently in use. The company also recently upgraded EV charging searches for electric vehicles with Google built-in software.
There is a host of EV charging navigation tools, from A Better Route Planner to PlugShare to Chargeway. All have their upsides and downsides. But with these new updates, Waze may soon rise to the top of the list of preferred services by EV owners.