Internet search giant Google is well known for it’s investments in clean energy and sustainable living. Google’s latest green initiative is a partnership with the US Energy Department to use Google Maps to display electric vehicle charging stations.
The goal is to provide consumers with information on where to charge their cars while out on the road. While data on the location of charging stations already exists, the partnership will make it easier for electric vehicle owners to locate and get directions to those stations using GPS and maps technology.
Unlike gas stations which can be found on just about any corner, electric charging stations are still few and far between. Widespread adoption of electric vehicles won’t happen unless consumers can drive without fear of running out of power.
Funding is being provided by the Energy Department to help stimulate the development and deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure and charging stations.
Five million dollars have been made available for local governments, partnering with the private sector, to apply for funding. “The initiatives announced today are just the latest steps in our broader efforts to reduce America’s dependence on oil, improve our energy security, and save families and businesses money,” says Steven Chu, Department of Energy Secretary.
Most electric vehicle charging occurs at consumers’ homes, plugging in to the grid during off peak hours. Perhaps one day tapping into the grid won’t even be necessary, with solar panels on garage doors and roof tops. But there will always be a need for the ability to recharge away from home, whether it is a long trip or just a forgotten overnight recharge.
The partnership between Google and the Department of Energy is a smart initiative that will make electric vehicle owners’ lives easier and bring mass adoption of electric vehicles one step closer.
Image Note: This map does not yet currently exist. The image was created used Google Maps for demonstration purposes.