Amazon's conversational voice assistant, Alexa, has made its way into many electric vehicles in recent years. Now, along with ordering Alexa to "play 'Despacito’" or "call Mom," EV drivers in the U.S. with Alexa-enabled cars will be able to ask Alexa to find the nearest public charging spot.
Charging network EVgo will be the first to partner with Amazon to offer this service later in 2023. Aside from a list of available public charging stations, Alexa will help drivers in the U.S. navigate to their chosen station and initiate charging. Drivers can even pay through a linked account simply by saying, "Alexa, pay for my charge," according to Amazon, which announced the integration at CES 2023 in Las Vegas on Thursday.
“The EV charging experience is a lot more fragmented than for gas customers, who can pretty much stop at any location,” said Anes Hodžić, vice president at Amazon’s Smart Vehicles group, in a statement. Hodžić noted that EV drivers often fumble through different apps and maps to find an available charger, taking into account factors like real-time availability, distance, remaining battery, charging speed, plug type and payment options.
Alexa's EV charging service connects drivers with Alexa-enabled vehicles and automotive accessories like Echo Auto to over 150,000 public stations in the U.S. powered by EVgo and other operators. When a driver asks Alexa to find a station, they'll receive a list of nearby locations with availability by plug type, as well as the time and distance to arrival. Once the driver chooses a location, Alexa can provide navigational instructions.
“At EVgo, we’re committed to making EV driving infrastructure convenient, reliable, and affordable for all types of drivers,” said Cathy Zoi, EVgo’s CEO. “Mass adoption of EVs is underway, and this collaboration between EVgo and Amazon will make charging seamless for even more EV drivers.”
At present, EVgo has more than 850 fast charging stations across the country, but it's building out more. In June, EVgo partnered with General Motors to build more than 3,250 fast chargers in the U.S. by 2025.