Spend any time driving an electric vehicle and you’ll quickly learn the importance of knowing if you’ll be able to make it to your destination with the amount of battery charge you have left, especially on longer road trips.
That’s why many EV makers are revamping their built-in navigation systems to include range and charging information in their routing, even though smartphone navigation apps like Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze all have far superior and up-to-date mapping. Okay sure, you can calculate those things manually and plot out your own charging stops, but it’s not the work of a moment, and most drivers would prefer not to bother with that kind of hassle and uncertainty.
It’s a good job, then, that Apple has a solution with Apple Maps EV Routing. This incorporates your car’s real-time range and battery percentage data into its routing—as well as elevation changes and other factors—and suggest charging stops along the way, as long as you’re using Apple CarPlay. It will also direct you to the nearest charging station if the battery charge gets too low.
The feature, which was announced during WWDC 2020, was pushed out to the Ford Mustang Mach-E last year, and now it’s making its way to the Porsche Taycan as well. Users will be able to enable this function by downloading the My Porsche app and following a few steps on it and the Apple Maps app.
The Stuttgart sports car maker said that while every Taycan comes with a built-in Porsche Charging Planner—which suggests charging stops based on battery percentage estimates upon arrival, traffic conditions and average speed—the addition of Apple Maps EV Routing gives owners more options, especially as they will no longer have to exit CarPlay to get navigation directions that include charging stops.
“We’ve listened to our customers, and they appreciate flexibility,” said Porsche Digital managing director Steffen Haug. “This integration with a product that they are already familiar with gives more options and confidence in how they use their Taycan, both in day-to-day activities and on longer road trips.”
There’s one big caveat, however—Apple Maps EV Routing will only be offered to customers in the US, presumably because Apple Maps doesn’t include enough charging station data outside the country. It also goes without saying that this will only work with Apple Maps; you won’t get real-time vehicle data on Google Maps or Waze.
Apple Maps EV Routing is one key advantage Cupertino has over Google, which doesn’t offer this kind of route planning on Google Maps, even over Android Auto. Mountain View counters by offering native Google Maps navigation through the (completely different) Android Automotive infotainment platform, at least on cars with Google services built-in. This includes a growing number of models, although the only EVs that offer this in Malaysia are the Volvo XC40 and C40 EVs.