Amazon said Thursday that it’s Alexa smart assistant will enable drivers of electric cars to find a charging station while on the road.
During its participation in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2023), Amazon announced a new cooperation with (EVGo), which is one of the largest charging networks in the United States, which will soon allow Alexa to guide electric car drivers to public charging places and pay for the service.
The company said Alexa will rely on data from EVGo’s PlugShare community to help direct electric vehicle drivers to nearby charging stations.
And if the driver chooses an EVGo station, Alexa will be able to pay tolls with simple voice commands. Amazon expects the new feature to be available later this year.
“The electric vehicle charging experience is much more fragmented than that of fuel (vehicle) customers, who can – pretty much – stop anywhere,” said Enes Hodic, vice president of the Intelligent Vehicles Group at Amazon.
While Tesla electric vehicle owners can rely on the company’s proprietary Supercharger network, non-Tesla electric vehicle drivers face a mix of competing charging networks, poorly maintained chargers, and apps that provide incomplete and sometimes outdated information.
Unlike a traditional stop to refuel, EV drivers must consider charging speed, plug type and payment options. In addition, drivers struggle with using several apps to find charging stations.
“We want Alexa to be useful to customers in their everyday lives, and charging electric vehicles is a great example of a task that can be made easier and more convenient through the power of artificial intelligence,” Hodic said.