Apple's Upcoming Electric Vehicle Routing Feature Looks to End Range Anxiety

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【Summary】Apple’s iOS 14 operating system will allow electric-car owners to plan their route by automatically choosing electric charging stations to stop at along the way.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Aug 04, 2020 6:00 AM PT
Apple's Upcoming Electric Vehicle Routing Feature Looks to End Range Anxiety

Despite advancements that seem to be coming every year for electric vehicles, range anxiety is still very much a thing that owners have to deal with. Tesla's the only automaker on the market to offer electric cars that can travel up to 400 miles on a single charge and even those vehicles can't match the range of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. 

So, if you're a new electric vehicle owner, you'll have to learn where local chargers are and plan your routes more purposefully than you would with a gas-powered car. Luckily, Apple's introducing a new feature with its upcoming iOS 14 operating system.

Making Long Trips Easier

Apple's iOS 14 system will introduce a host of new changes. One of the more interesting ones is called "electric vehicle routing." The feature keeps track of your current electric car's range and automatically adds charging stops along your programmed route in Apple Maps. In addition to knowing what kind of electric vehicle you drive, the feature also takes elevation change along the route into consideration to add stops that you should visit on your drive. Apple Maps also knows what kind of charger works for your car, so there's no guesswork of whether the available charger can be used on your vehicle when you get there.

This is a nifty feature that should be incredibly handy for electric-vehicle owners, new and old. Owning and planning a long trip with an electric vehicle takes some practice and math to figure out where to stop, whether that charger has the right plug for your car, and figuring out how long you need to charge to get to your final destination. It's a chore.

While the majority of automakers offer a similar feature with their OEM navigation systems, they're tricky to use and usually incorrect. An automaker's navigation system will usually overestimate the amount of range an electric vehicle has and will navigate you to any charging station, even ones that aren't compatible with your vehicle. Apple Maps may not be as handy as Google Maps or Waze, it's still much, much better than anything from an automaker. So, for Apple users, this is a major addition.

What Automakers Will Adopt The Tech?

There is one major problem with Apple's new feature, though, and that's automaker acceptance. You see, in order for electric vehicle routing to be helpful, it has to know all of the details on your vehicle. At the moment, Apple claims that it's only working with two brands on incorporating the necessary details for the feature, which include BMW and Ford.

BMW is a surprising choice, as the German automaker hasn't introduced a new EV beyond the i3 and i8 in years. Some electric cars are on the horizon, but still. For Ford, we're sure the decision to team up with Apple has to do with the upcoming Mustang Mach-E, which will be the automaker's first real attempt at an electric vehicle and its most high-tech offering.

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