Ever since Apple announced it would allow third party developers to build and sell applications for its iPhone smart phone, we’ve seen a whole range of applications from the silly to the useful. There’s even some fantastic iPhone apps to help you find the nearest charge station, control your electric car’s charging or even pay for charging remotely.
But one company has jumped on the electric vehicle and iOS bandwagon with a new application called iEV, an app which it claims will “make better, money saving decisions about your electric mobility future!”
That’s right. something it calls an Electric Car Simulator for you iPhone.
So how does it work?
Using data from the iPhone’s GPS receiver the application logs your daily driving and then advises which electric vehicle will be best suited to your needs, detailing the energy it expects your daily trips to consume along with maximum speed and other statistics.
In our initial tests, the app recorded our drive date accurately, giving us total miles travelled, maximum speed, average speed and even an option to export the GPS data as a log to put into another application, such as a spreadsheet.
But rather than tell you which car to buy, the application tells you how much power you’d consume on average if your current driving pattern is continued in an electric car.
Beginners can choose between some basic preset vehicle sizes to tell the application which sized electric vehicle they’re looking to buy, while intermediate and advanced users can be more specific.
The Advanced options are of most interest, not to would-be electric vehicle buyers, but those who are considering a DIY conversion. In this mode, users can change parameters of the car, with kerb weight, drag coefficient and frontal area all being customizabe.
Is it worth it?
We’re not sure. On a very geeky level, the application works for those planning their own conversion of an existing gasoline vehicle, giving what we feel are accurate predictions for the energy consumption over a trip on routes you regularly drive.
But for those considering buying an electric car made by an automaker we’re not sure it saves you any money at all - let alone the $5.99 purchase price.
Why? The app doesn’t really tell you anything you don’t already know. It’s just as easy to work out your daily mileage requirements using free online maps like GoogleMaps and then compare it with the EPA ratings for the car you’re looking to buy.
Our Verdict? Unless you’ve got severe range anxiety, can’t do the math yourself or plan to build your own electric car we really can’t see the point. Save yourself $5.99, and buy yourself AngryBirds instead.