At CES on Thursday, Amazon announced a partnership with one of the largest U.S. charging networks, EVgo, with plans to add a special new function to its virtual assistant service, Alexa. Through the upcoming addition of this feature, EV drivers will soon be able to use Alexa to help track down charging stations and pay for the service using voice commands.
According to reports from outlets like CNBC, Alexa will pull from EVgo’s PlugShare community data as a way to help point EV drivers in the direction of nearby charging stations. Should a driver select a charging station in this way, Alexa will also be able to help drivers pay for the charging service. Currently, Amazon expects this new Alexa feature to be available sometime later this year.
"The EV charging experience is a lot more fragmented than for gas customers, who can pretty much stop at any location. We want Alexa to be useful for customers in their everyday lives, and EV charging is a great example of a task that can be simplified and made more convenient through the power of AI, " explained Anes Hodžić, vice president at Amazon's Smart Vehicles group.
As pointed out by CNBC, Tesla owners in particular have the benefit of using the company’s proprietary “Supercharger” network when seeking out charging stations. Unfortunately, EV drivers who don’t own a Tesla face more of a struggle when it comes to tracking down suitable charging stations.
As an example, the process of “charging up” an electric vehicle can be more complicated than a gas-powered vehicle stopping somewhere to get gas as EV drivers need to not only seek out charging stations that can provide them with proper charging speed, but also ones offering compatible plug types and suitable payment options as well. Fortunately, it sounds like the integration of EVgo data with Amazon Alexa voice commands will soon help provide an easier way for many EV owners to charge while on-the-go.
While we wait for this new feature to be added to Alexa sometime later this year as previously mentioned, we’ve got some other features worth reading up on including Razer unveiling its new “desktop replacement” Blade 18 laptop at CES 2023, and how the PlayStation 5 recently hit 30 million units sold as of December 2022.