Car Manufacturers Need To Be Clear About Electric Car Range Says Eminent Professor

Professor James Marco - Dailycarblog

New in-depth research has highlighted 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 electric car range and how far they can travel on a single charge. Multiple studies from the world’s leading range prediction specialist, Spark EV Technology, have revealed that on-board estimations of range provided by some EVs on the roads today can be more than 100 per cent inaccurate. Furthermore, more than half (58 per cent) 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.

Breakthrough 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.

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Experts are warning the industry must act now to rectify this in order to encourage more people to go electric and avoid further distrust with consumers.

Professor James Marco from WMG, the University of Warwick, said: “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.”

As part of its research, Spark EV Technology commissioned a targeted survey of a thousand motorists who currently drive a petrol or diesel vehicle. The study revealed that around two-thirds (64 percent) 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.

Just over half (51 percent) 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, said: “We have carried out extensive real-world trials around the globe for our automotive clients and the results were hardly surprising to our team.

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“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 were more than 100 percent inaccurate. It was not uncommon for the EV to use more than double the amount of battery power that 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 electric car 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.”


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