Drivers demand more accurate EV range info

Drivers’ trust in running an electric car will be “compromised” if the industry doesn’t deliver more trustworthy range prediction en route.

Range prediction specialist Spark EV Technology says its research suggests that in order to encourage the mass take up of electric vehicles and avoid future misrepresentation of information to consumers, the motor industry must act now to improve the accuracy of on-board predictions of how far people can travel on a single charge.

Spark has found on-board estimations of range provided by some EVs on the roads today can be more than 100% inaccurate, and more than half of UK motorists have a lack of trust in vehicle brands as a result of the emissions scandal “underlining the importance and need for accurate information on range”.

Machine learning and AI technology is now available which analyses multiple data parameters on, as well as off the vehicle, such as the weather and traffic conditions, to provide highly accurate range predictions which are bespoke to the vehicle and the driver.

Professor James Marco from WMG, the University of Warwick, backed the findings saying, “We have just nine years until the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK. The industry knows that it needs to ensure we make range anxiety a thing of the past. Electric vehicles need to provide correct and trustworthy information about how far people can drive before they need to be charged. Otherwise people’s trust in the technology and consumer acceptance of EVs will be compromised.”

Spark’s researchers commissioned a targeted survey of a thousand motorists who currently drive a petrol or diesel vehicle. The study revealed that around two thirds (64%) of UK motorists said that having accurate and reliable information about how far they could travel before they needed to re-charge was an essential factor when choosing an electric vehicle while just over half (51%) said that concerns around the range of EVs was the reason they haven’t yet made the switch to electric, while the biggest reason for not yet switching to an EV remains the initial cost.

Justin Ott, CEO and founder of Spark EV Technology, explained, “We have carried out extensive real-world trials around the globe for our automotive clients and the results were hardly surprising to our team.

“Many EVs today use limited parameters based on short-term historic data on the vehicle to predict the range available for the next journey. However, in reality there are many variables it must take into account off the vehicle – such as the weather and traffic conditions, before even considering the driving style of the person behind the wheel.

“On numerous occasions during the trials, the on-board range predictions from the vehicle was more than 100 per cent inaccurate. It was not uncommon for the EV to use more than double the amount of battery power than was predicted by the on-board display, and sometimes during the live tests our automotive customers would end a journey with more range available than at the start.

“With range and charging anxiety a concern for so many motorists, the time has come for the industry to reassure motorists that electric vehicles, in the very near future, will provide highly accurate predictions about the available range remaining.”

(Picture – Yay Images)

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