Apperley, M., Donnelly, C., & Mason, S. (2015). Gamifying the EV Driving Experience: A virtual electric vehicle to change public attitudes. In Proceedings of the 28th Electric Vehicle Symposium (pp. 1–10). Goyang, Korea.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9879
Although significant advances have been achieved in the range and performance of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in recent years, the rate of uptake of these vehicles is relatively slow, meaning that they will not become a significant component of national vehicle fleets for some time to come. This slow adoption can be attributed in part (price is of course a major factor) to misunderstandings, misinformation, and an absence of experience with such vehicles. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a virtual electric vehicle – effectively a game-like application on a smartphone – which mimics an individual’s real use of a conventional fossil fuel powered vehicle with the equivalent experience in a BEV. The smartphone “knows” when it is in the user’s conventional car, and keeps track of its travels, simulating the battery charging and usage of the virtual BEV in real time, and reporting situations such as driving range exceeded. It also provides summaries of running costs, and for long term users, indicates the need for battery replacement. In this way, it enables a user to gain some experience of what it would be like to use a BEV on a daily basis. A preliminary evaluation of the virtual BEV concept has shown excellent results, with a significant increase in positive attitudes to BEVs after only one week’s use of the smartphone app.