Sustainability, Tech

Google Maps now shows the most eco-friendly routes in Europe

Hopefully we get this worldwide sooner rather than later.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Oct 2, 2022

In a recent development, Google Maps is now offering environmentally friendly navigation in 40 European countries. This includes but is not limited to: France, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Germany, and the UK. With Google Map’s eco-friendly routing, drivers are able to go for a route that favors lower fuel consumption by looking up the most optimized and eco-friendly routes. This not only makes it possible to cut carbon emissions, but it also makes it so users can actually spend less money on fuel.


According to Google’s blog, “With eco-friendly routing, you can choose a route that’s optimized for lower fuel consumption, which helps you save money on fuel and reduce carbon emissions — something that’s top of mind for many Europeans. And this is a real concern – according to Statista’s 2022 report, road transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions throughout Europe. Now, in addition to showing the fastest route, Google Maps will also display the one that’s most fuel efficient, if it doesn’t happen to also be the fastest.”


The EU nations have serious concerns about their ability to reduce emissions. This is due to the fact that in all of Europe, road transportation is the main source of emissions. This is why Google’s eco-friendly route feature is arriving at a crucial time.


Last year, the feature was first introduced in the U.S. and Canada. It’s a component of Google’s sustainability initiatives. The corporation asserted that it has reduced carbon emissions by the equivalent of 100,000 cars since launching eco-friendly routes in the United States and Canada. This is the equivalent to reducing more than 500,000 metric tons of emissions.


This is how you can select eco-friendly routes:

  1. Tap on the profile icon on Google Maps
  2. Go to Settings > Navigation Settings
  3. Scroll down to route options
  4. Tap and select “Prefer fuel-efficient routes” to turn on eco-friendly routing


Another great aspect is that viewers are given several options based on the type of fuel their cars use. For example, diesel engines usually run more efficiently at higher speeds, as opposed to electric cars that thrive in stop-and-go traffic.


Google shared that this technology is possible with insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as well as data from the European Environment Agency. The company announced that: “By pairing this information with Google Maps driving trends, [they] were able to develop advanced machine learning models trained on the most popular engine types in a given region.”


Google Maps is upgrading in so many ways. You can even use it as a social network, here’s how.


Photo via Google