Environmentalists are encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles, or EVs, to help save fuel and reduce carbon emissions into the environment. Electric vehicles are battery powered; like your cell phone, you have to recharge the vehicle when the battery gets low. EVs are not for everybody; finding EV charging stations can be difficult and if you plan to take a lot of long trips, EVs might not be able to hold a charge for long enough to make it worth your while. Before deciding to invest in an EV, you can check out a simulation on your smartphone to help you decide if such a vehicle will meet your needs.
iEV Simulator Application
If you have an iPhone, you can purchase the iEV app for $3.99. This app tracks your mileage while you’re driving. You just have to give it some information about your vehicle before beginning a trip, such as the car’s size or weight. Start the app at the beginning of a trip and stop it at the end of the trip. The app will tell you how much battery power you were likely to use and allows you to compare the way the trip would affect different EVs on the market. If you use this app for several trips, it calculates your average battery consumption as well as giving you information about times that you are more likely to use a greater amount of battery.
The BMW eVolve application, which is available for the iPhone and the Android platform, works similarly to the iEV app. This app tracks your mileage as you’re driving; you can also pause the app if you want to simulate restroom or food stops. However, this app has been developed by BMW and thus uses the mileage information to calculate how much charge the BMW ActivE would lose from each trip you make rather than comparing various types of EVs. Thus, if you aren’t sure what type of electric vehicle to buy, the app may not be as useful. However, you can estimate the effects on other types of EVs that have a similar range. For example, the Nissan Leaf has a similar range of 100 miles per charge to the BMW ActivE, so you can estimate the effect on this vehicle using the BMW app.
The BMW app has two advantages over the iPhone app. Unlike the iPhone app, the eVolve simulation allows you to simulate recharging your vehicle between trips or legs of a trip. This is important information for EV buyers to consider. By using the recharging simulation, users can get an idea of how long it takes to recharge the vehicle.
If you’re thinking about buying an EV, you should consider recharging times as well as how often you’re going to need to recharge your vehicle, to help you determine whether the EV will meet your needs.