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Google Maps letting you specify EV, hybrid, and other engine types for more fuel-efficient directions

Google Maps can now provide the “most fuel-efficient route” possible if you specify your car’s engine type, while eco-friendly routing is coming to all of Europe.

Google launched eco-friendly routing in Maps earlier this year for the United States, Canada, and Germany to highlight directions that use less fuel. A “Most fuel-efficient” leaf badge appears, with the app preferring that route “when arrival times are similar.” You can see more details about the choice and get a brief explanation.

This feature can be disabled from the overflow menu in the directions page > “Route options” to always use the fastest option. It’s meant to “save money on fuel and reduce carbon emissions.”

Since launching in the U.S. and Canada, it’s already estimated to have helped remove more than half a million metric tons of carbon emissions — equivalent to taking 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road.

Eco-friendly routing is rolling out starting today to nearly 40 countries across Europe.

Meanwhile, as we previously reported, you can make Google Maps eco-friendly routing even more fuel efficient by specifying your engine type: gas or petrol, diesel, hybrid, or electric vehicle (EV). This feature is rolling out over the coming weeks in the United States, Canada, and Europe and can be accessed by going into “Route options” and adding an “Engine type.” 

For example, diesel engines are usually more efficient at higher speeds than petrol or gas engines, while hybrid and electric vehicles perform better in stop-and-go traffic.

To get the “most accurate fuel or energy efficiency estimates,” Google used “insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data from the European Environment Agency.” Combining these data with Google Maps driving trends, the company developed “advanced machine learning models trained on the most popular engine types in a given region.”

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