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Minimize Range Anxiety with TomTom’s DeveloperToolkit for Electric Mobility

TomTom Maps SDK for Web makes route planning for electric cars easier as it can be used with our new EV charging stations feature

How TomTom is Changing The Way EV Drivers Plan Electric Vehicle Routes

Last month we unveiled a new toolkit geared for developers who want to build applications for electric vehicles (EVs) and help reduce one of the most important factors in the mind of electric vehicle owners: range anxiety.

This is something that is very close to me as a software developer. I don’t own an electric car, but I do have an e-scooter with a large battery that allows me to go long distances, over 40km in one charge – yes, that is long distance for me – and I still suffer from the range anxiety most of the time, even If I know – tacitly - that I have plenty of charge remaining.

If you own an electric vehicle you might be familiar with Range Anxiety. It’s the fear that your car won’t make it to your destination, leaving you stranded on the road. This is for sure one of the major barriers for EV adoption.

Our Developer Toolkit for Electric mobility has been upgraded with two new APIs that will help with route planning for electric vehicles:

As always, the Extended Routing API in conjunction with our historical and real time traffic data work with your vehicle’s electric consumption model to ensure that we deliver the most optimized route. Now, with all that information in mind, it takes into consideration your range and gets you to the closest compatible charging station on your route. 

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As I mentioned before, I don’t own a electric car, but I have a friend who owns a Tesla (Series S) and he is planning a trip to Poland with a stop-over in Berlin. So I decided to write a small application to show him the way he could go that would be optimized for his electric vehicle.

He asked for help to calculate a realistic route using his Tesla adapter for other charging stations, with traffic considerations.

In this article I’ll explain:

  • What the updated feature is in the Extended Routing API.
  • How to calculate electric consumption consumption model.
  • How to use Long Distance EV Routing API to plan the trip with confidence.

Intro to the new API

If you are familiar with the TomTom Routing API, then you already know that you can calculate a route with several options. The new Long Distance EV Routing API now calculates routes, adapting to the required charging station stops based on your specific vehicle’s battery consumption and charging model.

To calculate where to stop to charge your vehicle’s battery, we’ll need to know:

  1. Charge of the electric vehicle at the beginning of the journey.
  2. How much battery will be used while driving at different speeds. (Electric Consumption model for your vehicle).
  3. How fast you can charge at different charging stations (For example, your battery charges twice as fast on a 32Amps station than at 16Amps, if no other factors are included).
  4. What you would like your charge level to be at the end of your trip. (So you don’t get anxious to find a charge point on your way back.)

NOTE: This accounts for having at least a 20% power level remaining when you stop to charge. 

Demo Web Application using the new Long Distance EV Routing

For this tutorial I have downloaded the new Maps SDK for Web available here, and followed the ‘Getting Started’ tutorial, I have applied a map view and markers to define the start and ending locations for our route.

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The Consumption Model

If you followed the blog article mentioned above, then you now know how to calculate the necessary consumption model values. Basically: We need to let the routing engine know how much energy we consume at certain speeds. 

After doing a quick online search I found that my friend’s Tesla S has an 89 MPGe EPA average consumption and 85 kWh battery.

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Credit: https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2015_Tesla_Model_S.shtml

Now, please note the following: The Long Distance Routing API uses the metric system and 1 MPGe is equivalent to 33.7 kWh of electricity.

EV Fun Fact:
MPGe is a metric that the EPA uses to measure the efficiency of alternative-fuel vehicles (also electric vehicles.

How to reach these values:

  1. Convert distances to metric (miles -> kms)
  2. City driving is average 30km/h and highway is 100km/h in Europe.

 We need to know this to find the car’s consumption for 100km. 

City driving consumption: 33.7kWh/141.6km (88miles), and we multiplied by 100km = 23.8. 

Highway driving consumption: We repeat the same procedure to get the approx. consumption in highway: 90miles = 144.84km. So, 33.7/144.84, multiplied by 100 = 23.2. 

(While reviewing this article, some people noted that 100km/h average in a highway is a bit high. Sometimes we can use a more conservative value of 80km/h).

How to create the Routing API call 

For this demo we used the Fetch API to perform the REST API Call.

Note: A specific function to calculate routes with Long Distance EV Routing API will be added to the TomTom Web SDK soon. 

How to visualize the results

We create a route from Hanover to Poznan for our Tesla S and we got something like this:

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Looks like we need to recharge a little south of Berlin… nice stop over for a coffee!  

Next Steps

In the next installment we will go over the written code and how to use the API.

If you need more information, check out our developer portal at https://developer.tomtom.com and our use case page on these new features.

First published: 
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 12:29
Last edited: 
Friday, October 4, 2019 - 10:00