Android Auto is adding new features for electric vehicles

Google is working to bring better support to Android Auto for electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with the infotainment experience.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Over the past few updates to Android Auto, Google has been quietly building out new features tied to EVs. This includes the ability to manually identify your car as an electric vehicle and toggle on EV features within Google Maps on Android Auto. This all appears within Android Auto’s built-in settings menu under a new section titled “EV Settings.”

<string name=”settings_register_as_ev”>Register as EV</string>

<string name=”ENERGY_CONSUMPTION_ENGINE_TYPE_SETTINGS_FOR_CAR_TITLE”>Engine type (car)</string>

Other features include the ability to select which charging connector your vehicle is using. Listed connectors include J1772, CCS (Combo 1 and 2), Type 2, and CHAdeMO. There’s no mention of the North American Charging Standard (NACS) pioneered by Tesla and seeing massive adoption through other EVs set to be sold in the United States. Presumably, though, this could easily be added in a later update.

<string name=”settings_connector_types”>EV Connector Types</string>

<string name=”settings_your_plugs”>Your plugs</string>

<string name=”settings_connector_type_1”>J1772</string>

<string name=”settings_connector_type_combo”>CCS (Combo {0})</string>

We also found strings relating to battery meters, suggesting you may be able to see charge levels through Android Auto directly, but there’s not enough context to say for sure.

Work on these new EV features in Android Auto date back to Android Auto 9.5, but in Android Auto 9.9, it seems the feature is finally appearing. EV features appeared for the folks at SmartDroid following the latest updates which show the new settings options in action, though in German.

Android Auto, unfortunately, isn’t especially common in popular EVs. Tesla and Rivian have both opted to ignore Android Auto and CarPlay, while other brands such as Polestar have instead used Android Automotive as a native operating system. Still, for EVs from Kia, Nissan, Ford, and others, this is a welcome update we’re looking forward to seeing more widely.

More on Android Auto:

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

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