Electric Vehicle range anxiety? There’s an app for that.

Bradley Walker
New York City 40°42'52" N, 74°00'26” W

Drivers and fleet managers who have adopted electric vehicles share a common concern. It’s called “range anxiety”, and apps like BeNomad’s ev-Move are on track to put everyone’s EV fears to rest.

Consumer and business adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is outpacing the rate at which power companies can provide compatible charging stations. Thus, whether you’re planning the day’s route for an EV delivery truck, looking to build a charging station in an area, or you’re sliding behind the wheel to run your afternoon errands, the vehicle’s available travel distance is very likely on your mind.

The automotive world calls this feeling Range Anxiety, and it’s a justifiable concern. When planning your route(s), it’s necessary to consider two key questions. Do I have enough power to get where I’m going and back? If not, where is the optimal, compatible and available charging station on my route?

ev-Move is an application platform from French company BeNomad that utilizes HERE location intelligence to answer those questions, and quite a few more. Contrary to what you might expect, providing that answer isn’t as easy as calculating distance or time based on power. This is, after all, an intelligent solution.

As an example, consider the route you’ll take to run your afternoon errands. You may need to visit several locations over a lengthy overall distance. It might seem easy enough to find the optimal route between each stop, estimate the needed power for that route, and compare that value to the available power in the electric vehicle.

Sadly, this approach is not intelligent enough to be reliable.

To begin, what are the habits of the person behind the wheel? A driver that maintains a constant speed over time will use less energy than a driver that speeds up and slows down, or ducks in and out of the passing lane. That will impact range in a big way.

What’s the condition of the route? There are other cars and trucks on the roads, and maneuvering through traffic increases the available operating time. As well, EVs need more energy to go uphill, while some reclaim kinetic energy under braking when going downhill. These things add and subtract to your maximum range.

All that traffic and roadway topography information is provided to ev-Move from HERE. Add a layer of compatible charging stations, and any route can be planned not only efficiently, but can include warnings and updates when the vehicle is about to reach the point where it will be out of range of a safe harbor to recharge.

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This isoline view of an EVs range is essential for drivers, but this information is key for logistics planners, vehicle manufacturers, and application developers as well.  The ev-Move platform is flexible enough to answer the needs for all of those cases.

We don’t yet live in the world where we can assume that we can recharge our electric vehicles with the same convenience that we can fill up the gas tank of our combustion cars. But, as intelligent, data-driven apps like those from BeNomad and HERE, we can confidently put range anxiety to rest.

Topics: Editor's picks, Electric cars, Automotive, Logistics

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