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Google Maps Update Brings Fuel and Energy Estimates Based on Your Vehicle Type

Eco-friendly routing is also expanding to Europe.

Google Maps GPS app
Google Maps will tell you your route's energy consumption based on the type of car driven. 
Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Maps is expanding its eco-friendly route options to calculate fuel and energy costs based on the types of vehicles people drive in the coming weeks, the company said in a blog post Tuesday. 

The feature allows people to pick the type of vehicle they're driving -- whether it be gas, diesel, hybrid or electric -- in Maps and get an estimate on how much fuel or energy will be consumed on a given route. If the most fuel-efficient route doesn't happen to be the fastest, people can choose the faster one instead. This feature is limited to mobile. 

Eco-friendly routes were introduced last year, letting people pick the drive that was the most fuel efficient. Google is now expanding this feature to 40 countries in Europe, including France, Ireland, Poland, Spain and the UK. Earlier this year, Google also added a traffic prediction widget to Android phones, letting people see current traffic conditions on their home screen.

Google's push to add eco-friendly features to Maps comes as big tech companies aim to cut down on emissions, while also bringing customers along for the ride. Google said it eliminated its entire carbon legacy in 2020 and is using AI to help governments reduce carbon. Apple said it plans to be carbon neutral by 2030 and stopped shipping iPhones with chargers in 2020, saying it wants to cut down on e-waste. While these carbon targets are ambitious, some have pointed to the excessive use of Renewable Energy Certificates or Power Purchase Agreements to buy clean energy credits that offset dirty emissions.  

How to set Vehicle Type in Google Maps

Google Maps V

Google

Setting up your vehicle type in Google Maps takes only a handful of steps on mobile devices. 

1. Enter your destination

2. Tap on the three dots on the upper right-hand side

3. Tap Route options

4. Make sure Prefer fuel efficient routes is selected

5. Tap on Engine type

6. Choose the type of vehicle