Scotland backs EV driver app

Published:  20 June, 2016

An app that will improve life for the fast-growing number of electric vehicle (EV) users is being supported by a £285,000 grant from Scottish Enterprise.

Livingston-based Route Monkey is creating the online portal which will help EV drivers plan the best routes for an EV, give turn-by-turn directions via a smartphone and identify charging points en route.

The app will use Trakm8's market-leading T10 Micro telematics technology to give EV drivers a raft of real time journey and battery data, straight to their smartphone. This will enable Route Monkey to accurately recalculate routes and plan in extra recharging time depending on journey conditions.

Electric vehicle advocate Quentin Willson said: ‘Route Monkey's game-changing journey planning software will give more drivers the confidence to choose electric vehicles over their conventionally-powered counterparts and help banish the range-anxiety-monster for good. It is what all EV drivers have been waiting for and will change the electric car landscape for the better.'
The app will be designed to encourage the uptake of EVs by consumers and smaller fleets in both public and private sectors. It builds on the success of the company's EVOS solution for larger fleets.

EVs have finite battery capacity (range) and defined recharge rates, which can challenge their productivity. EVOS uses algorithms to calculate the impact of a wide range of factors on an EV's range capabilities. These include payload, average speed, route topography, weather conditions and driver style.

Scottish Enterprise has awarded Route Monkey an R&D grant of £285,000 which contributes to the overall project cost of £750,000. The grant will accelerate the company's R&D programme, enabling it to deliver this unique software as a service (SAAS) to the market as quickly as possible.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, said: ‘Encouraging and nurturing innovation is a key element of our plan for Scotland's economy. It helps businesses grow and access new markets and new customers, protecting and creating jobs.

A picture of a map on a screen, part of the new app for electric vehicle drivers

‘Route Monkey is a great example of a digital business that is innovating and this project is a world leader – which will also help owners and developers of electric vehicles. It is great news that Scottish Enterprise has been able to support its product development through this R&D funding.'

Jim Watson, director of innovation and enterprise services at Scottish Enterprise, said: ‘This is an exciting idea that could accelerate take-up of EVs, by making them more cost-effective and even easier to use.

‘Scotland is leading the way in encouraging the take up of EVs. After London, ChargePlace Scotland is the largest EV charging network in the UK; while Dundee is also home to the largest local authority EV fleet, as well as an all-electric taxi fleet.

‘Innovative companies, like Route Monkey, play key roles in enabling Scotland to spearhead the switch to lower carbon transport and also in developing leading-edge technologies that we can export to the world.'

Developing a consumer-focused solution with added navigation and data logging capabilities will significantly enhance Route Monkey's technical portfolio and skills, while also creating four new permanent high quality jobs. Work will commence immediately, with the goal of launching the solution in Q2 of 2017.

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