With well over 1 billion users, Google Maps rules the world of navigation apps. So, when it announced the addition of EV charging stations to its Maps app earlier this month, a lot of people took note. The feature includes info on location, number and types of ports and charging speeds – all of which is highly useful info for EV users.
Google is a company that has grown to global dominance through its ability to interpret and meet user needs. That the company took so long to add charging stations suggests Google was not initially convinced EV’s were here to stay. Conversely, the fact that it has now allocated the time and resources to add the feature to Google maps makes it clear they know the direction that autos are headed.
Clearly a number of factors helped Google reach this conclusion. EV sales continue to grow month-by-month in numerous countries around the world and have reached a scale where Big Tech is rapidly buying in. The number of EV charging stations is also moving sharply upwards, thanks to a combination of government and corporate initiatives. There’s still a ways to go in the installation of nationwide charging infrastructure in most countries but the push is well underway. Here are a few of the higher-profile initiatives out there.
Electrify America: In 2017, as part of its settlement with the US government relating to the emissions scandal, auto giant Volkswagen agreed to invest $2 billion in a new electric vehicle charging network in America. Walmart and Target are just a couple of the big retailers that have partnered with Electrify America to install charge stations at their outlets.
Chargefox Network: With $multi-million financial support from the Australian government, an AU$15 million EV charging network is currently being built in Australia by Chargefox.
ChargePoint Network: One of the world’s largest charging networks is run by ChargePoint, which is targeting an estimated x50 increase for a total of 2.5 million charging stations by 2025.
Tesla Superchargers: Tesla has approx. 2,600 superchargers, at more than 370 stations in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Ionity Network: Jointly run by VW, Ford, BMW and Daimler, Ionity has charging stations throughout a number of European countries.
I could add a lot more but you can see the trend and, as we can see from the maps app, so can Google. The key point for investors to consider is that, as more charging infrastructure is rolled out, more demands will be placed on electric metal supply. Similarly, as the number of stations multiplies at an ever-greater rate, so too will consumer awareness and adoption of EVs.