While electric cars are slowly working their way towards affordability, Apple Maps is giving the EV owners a helping hand with the integration of ChargePoint's stations. ChargePoint offers more than 30,000 charging stations around the world, and the integration into Apple Maps is literally putting them on the map with EV charging station badges. Apple Maps users can tap one of those icons for directions and station info like hours of operation and pricing (with Apple Pay support), or ask Siri "where's the closest charging station?" for directions.
The vast majority of ChargePoint's network consists of Level 1 and Level 2 chargers using the J1772 connector standard. The charging rate for such stations varies widely, but is generally between 3- and 15-miles-per-hour of charging. Of the 31,000 ChargePoint stations, roughly 400 are DC fast charge stations, offering SAE Combo or CHAdeMO connectors at 50KW for up to 100 miles of range per hour of charging — so long as you have a compatible car.
Tesla, the leading EV maker, uses a smaller proprietary connector, but includes an adapter for J1772 chargers with every car and sells an adapter for use with CHAdeMO stations.
While ChargePoint is the largest commercial EV charging network, they're not the only EV charging game in town. Like with most things in tech, there's a community-driven alternative: PlugShare. This option aggregates more than 120,000 chargers globally from a wide variety of networks, including ChargePoint, Tesla, and even chargers installed for businesses and homes that are making them available for public use.
It's still nice to see EV chargers getting included in Apple Maps — Tesla and Bolt and Leaf owners will be pleased to know if there's a charge nearby.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.