The shift from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles (EVs) is a revolutionary development for the automotive industry. However, this development remains hampered by factors that can make electric vehicles seem less attractive to customers than they ought to be. This is where EV route planning solutions come in. They make driving an electric vehicle as easy and enjoyable as possible, and help eliminate the uncertainties many drivers feel about EVs. And the more complex these EV route planning solutions are, the greater the benefits for both car makers and their customers.
EV route planning solutions should address and eliminate drivers’ concerns
By successfully addressing drivers’ concerns about EVs, car makers can turn their customers’ uncertainty into curiosity and confidence. Because those concerns are still common, involving everything from range anxiety to limited charging infrastructure and generally lacking customer knowledge (about EV services, battery capacity, cost of ownership, and more). Many drivers like using an EV for shorter, daily trips, but hesitate to use it for longer journeys, usually for the reasons listed above.
EV route planning solutions provide drivers with the information they need when they need it, thus eliminating the uncertainty that prevents many of them from buying or renting an electric vehicle. Instead, they are able to focus on other things, and enjoy their journey and in-car experience more.
Why EV route planning solutions should include as many parameters as possible
Route planning solutions are often provided by a third party: like an app operated by a software company. Their knowledge of a certain road or distance may be great, but they will likely not know anything about the particular vehicle the app user is driving. In addition to that, they tend to cooperate with – and promote or favor – some suppliers of charging infrastructure ahead of others. This is less than ideal for drivers, and potentially a real problem in countries or areas where a certain charging infrastructure supplier may not be present.
As such, EV route planning solutions need to take a vast array of parameters into account. Preferably as many as possible. Only then can the user/driver get a complete picture of all the conditions affecting his or her journey, and get the best possible service. The greater the complexity of the route planning solution, and the data it is able to collect and process, the greater the benefit for the driver. And definitely for the company providing the solution as well.
Key factors to consider for optimal EV route planning
So, what are the key factors that EV route planning solutions need to take into account? The number, locations and availability of charging stations along a particular route, certainly, but several less obvious parameters too. Where, when and for long should the EV be charged at certain stations in order to optimize the journey? How quickly do the batteries in that particular EV charge? Weather, topography, road and traffic conditions at large; these are all crucial factors as well. As is the potentially changing weight of the car, if the driver picks up – and/or drops off – friends or family, and their luggage, along the way.
With so many parameters all affecting the driver’s journey, he or she will need an EV route planner that takes them all into account. The solution needs to be connected to the individual car in order to provide correct, dynamic information at all times. Additionally, drivers are not always interested in the fastest route. Maybe they want to choose a more scenic one, for example, without having to worry about not finding a charging station.
The more parameters one leaves out, the more difficult it becomes to calculate the best route, thus in fact complicating things for the driver. Simply excluding, say, every tenth charging station can make the route much more complicated, and appear less predictable and navigable than it actually is. As a result, the driver may decide to take unnecessary detours just to reach a particular charging station. Or, simply choose a different mode of transportation altogether. The more parameters car makers include in their EV route planners, the more useful these solutions will be in the eyes of their customers; a complexity that translates into easier rides for drivers.
Meeting drivers’ demands for reliable EV route planning
Car makers that address these issues in a sophisticated, intuitive manner show their customers that they understand the challenges of driving an EV. And, that they are actively trying to help them overcome these challenges. Just because most EV trips are short day-to-day rides, that does not mean that drivers should have to compromise when going on longer journeys.
By providing the easiest and most enjoyable EV journey possible, car makers can tackle the concerns of EV-hesitant drivers, strengthen the relationship with their customers, and make them more inclined to use electric vehicles. Excellent EV route planning solutions are key to making that happen.
WirelessCar has a long history – 20+ years – of developing, delivering and operating secure digital solutions and products for connected cars. Make sure to read my blog article on Smart EV Routing as well, and do not hesitate to contact me at Rasmus Cornér if you have any questions. Visit our website to read more about our solutions and products, including Smart EV Routing. I can also recommend checking out my colleagues’ blog articles on how insights from connected car data can be turned into new digital services, and how you can enhance your service portfolio through your existing connected car cloud.