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Driving an EV brings pros and cons to consumers, businesses and infrastructures. One of the questions for a lot of people remains “where can I find a charging station?”. And when you actually drive an electric vehicle, you want to know more about the charging station. Is it occupied? What is the “kW” and what can I do while waiting in the neighborhood? 

Google EV Location Feed Specification

To publish this important information in real time, Google uses the GELFS protocol. This stands for “Google EV Location Feed Specification”. There is not a lot of information to find about it currently and that’s exactly why we want to write this article about it. To create awareness, show the pros and cons and show the possibilities for the future. 

GELFS is only used for electric charging stations that will update real time data to the public Google Maps Platform. 

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Pros and cons about realtime EV information on Google

Every software tool and data source (well.. most of them) has pros and cons. This also applies to GELFS. The solution seems pretty easy and also works pretty easy. But not for every company it works evenly well. For the consumer the information is critical to make a decision whether they will go to a certain charging station. So sharing the information about the availability and what kind of charging point it is, is crucial. And we have to say, this works really well. The downside is when you use the one and only ‘Point of interest’-pin in the public Google Maps that is linked to your “My Google Business Profile”. The manageability of the pin decreases to a point that only the pin will show the latest information updated via the GELFS protocol. This means you cannot change things easily within your Google my Business Profile. There might be duplicates, pins nearby might be consolidated or reviews will be thrown away or be visible in pins that you don’t want them to appear in. 

For most companies this won’t be a problem. Simply because of their origin as an “old-fashioned” gas station. They can create new pins on the existing location that are separate from the original purpose of the building. They separate the information about the gas station and bring the information they show in the charging station down to the bare minimum, only if it’s available, and what the “kW” is. Problem solved. 

How Localyse can help the EV market

How can we help all those parties like Fastned, where the pin is attached to the charging station? Or where parties like Q8 are placing charging stations on walls at business parks? 

This is where Localyse comes in; we have solutions to update those pins with the correct information, keep them ‘clean’ (no duplicates) and still be available for the real time data feed. 

Want to know more about this topic? Please don’t hesitate to contact us