Real World Drive Cycles, EV fleets and Smart Cities

Legislative Drive Cycles came to public and mass media light some years ago with the diesel scandal and some manufacturers making all kind of workarounds in order to achieve a “good score” during the laboratory tests (performed over the NEDC, New European Drive Cycle). What do this test aim at? Establish a benchmark for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, ppm / km among others. The fact that manufacturers use the legislative drive cycles to score better than the competition regardless of what this means in the real world driving, and fuel consumption / CO2 emissions, is not new, and there has been lot of research from academics around the world on that matter since legislative Drive Cycles have been introduced, just to name an example: Drive Cycle Beating – An Analysis of the Boundaries During Vehicle Testing.

After the NEDC came the actual Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP, WLTC). And even though it is an improvement over the NEDC, the research shows it is still far away from actual driving in different conditions and different cities, not to mention different drivers and climate conditions.

With the use of Big Data from smartphones we can now elaborate the Real World Drive Cycles for a certain population of interest (let’s call it a fleet), over a certain period of time and weather conditions. The importance of making this efforts is tremendous in the aim of electrifying fleet vehicles, both private and from the public transportation arena. The reason is quite simple, and it is Autonomy (the distance that can be traveled with a certain driving style and exogenous conditions, and range anxiety) and the cost of producing batteries capable of storing enough kWh in EV vehicles. To simplify, let’s say you can pay 100 usd / kWh in your battery. Whether the vehicles for your fleet will need 50 or 100 kWh, or somewhere in between, will make a significant difference in vehicle manufacturing costs and therefore acquisition costs and economical feasibility to electrify the fleet of, for example, electric buses in a city or a private last mile logistic fleet.

We have the opportunity to design and dimension the battery storage capacity for each operation of any fleet, just by leveraging on the big data of speed profiles, climate, road conditions, and then introducing this data as the key input in the commercial or custom designed powertrain modelling tools.

At Woocar we are convinced that all governments and private fleets need to start collecting speed data at high frequency in order to build their own Real World Drive Cycles and start dimensioning their future EV fleets.

Write to us to know more about the works we’ve done for EV manufacturers / designers and public transportation fleets. We will be pleased to share our experience and knowledge in the continuous search for a more sustainable and clean transportation ecosystem around the world.

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