In order to evaluate the economic efficiency of electric vehicles, the Munich Technical University (TUM) is setting up the Virtual Electromobility among taxis and commercial vehicles in Munich (VEM) field trial. Smartphone apps acquire mobility data that will be used to determine if a given mobility profile could be implemented economically with an electric vehicle.
The researchers equip conventional vehicles of fleet operators participating in the trial with smartphones that measure their mobility behavior. Beginning early next year, the software developed by TUM's Institute of Automotive Technology will simulate the operation of an electric vehicle on each of the smartphones. The phones will record the exact location of the vehicle via GPS, along with driving behavior like acceleration, deceleration, and turns. Once the driving data has been collected, the software will calculate the energy consumption for a fictional electric vehicle and display the charge status of a virtual battery.
In parallel to the simulation phase, the data calculated will be validated against a real electric car. "This will show various taxi and commercial operators that partial electrification of their fleet would not only be technical feasible, but would already today offer economic and environmental benefits," maintains engineer Benedikt Jäger from TUM's Institute of Automotive Technology.
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— Christoph Hammerschmidt writes for EE Times Europe.