On September 7, 2022, Google announced that the fuel-efficient route feature in Maps is available for 40 more European countries, including Romania.
This feature was first implemented in the United States, then in Canada and since last month in Germany, and allows a route with the lowest fuel consumption to be displayed as an alternative to the fastest route. Both routes appear on the mobile device’s screen if the percentage of fuel saved is significant or if the fuel-saving route does not take too long.
Google Maps calculates fuel efficiency using information from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and data from the European Environment Agency. This calculation includes factors that affect fuel and energy consumption and CO2 emissions, such as:
- Average fuel or energy consumption for vehicles in the region
- Differences in elevation (lowland, hilly or mountainous area)
- Traffic patterns
- Road types (such as local roads or motorways)
“Google Maps will display the eco-friendly route on each search if it is different from the fastest route. The user will see the relative fuel economy on the green route (expressed as a percentage of consumption on the fast route) and the time difference between the two routes displayed. If someone wants Google Maps to always show them the fastest route, they can do so by choosing this option in “Settings” – says Google.
Using this new feature in Google Maps, those who want to rent a car can simulate the economic route with cars equipped with different propulsion systems (cars with thermal engines, electric cars or hybrid cars) and, following the different results, choose the most convenient option in terms of fuel consumption and therefore in financial terms.
The easiest way to simulate is when the mobile device has already obtained route directions in Google Maps (in the application opened on the phone, directions were requested by pressing the bottom left button), then swiped up in the bottom bar where by tapping the Change your engine type button, you can choose which powertrain to equip the car you intend to rent. The results will be different depending on the engine chosen, i.e. on the motorway cars equipped with diesel engines have the advantage, whereas in town or in hilly or mountainous areas, hybrid or electric cars have the advantage through extensive use of regenerative braking.
In conclusion, using the Eco-friendly route function in Google Maps can help us to rent a car that meets our own comfort and safety requirements, but also takes care of our pocket and, last but not least, of the environment by reducing pollution through low fuel consumption.
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