Forgive us for making some sweeping generalisations about electric car drivers — but for the most part, electric car drivers are a fairly geeky bunch. They like gadgets, love computers and new technology, and often like the idea of keeping track of the trips they make by electric car.
To date, anyone wanting to keep a track of their electric car trips has either had to resort to manual record keeping with an old-fashioned notebook and pen, or relied on the often limited and buggy energy tracking features of on-board telematics systems like Nissan’s CARWINGS and General Motors’ OnStar.
But now a new Indiegogo campaign from CrossChasm — the same company responsible for the FleetCarma fuel efficiency tracking system for fleets — promises to make logging your plug-in car trips easy, fun, and social.
What’s more, the latest EV accessory to hit the market promises to make negotiating busy charging stations a breeze thanks to a neat built-in extra.
Enter MyEV by MyCarma. A custom-made device which plugs into the on-board diagnostics port of every electric car on sale today, MyEV monitors your car’s CANBus — a kind of specialised computer network for cars — to track it’s state of charge, odometer, predicted range and usage data.
Connect a smartphone to the device via bluetooth, and the MyEV companion app then logs and records each and every trip you make. This allows you to figure out which routes are more efficient than others, improve your driving technique, share you best efficiency scores with your friends and most importantly, keep track of your car’s battery health.
Talking with Transport Evolved, CrossChasm CoFounder Matt Stevens explained that the MyEV platform is designed to not only fill a gap in the market, but open up a whole new level of possibilities for EV drivers.
“I’ve got a Chevrolet Volt and I love it,” he said. But when it came to General Motors’ OnStar system which offers some basic efficiency tracking, he was less committed. “It’s okay…but it doesn’t offer exactly what I want,” he said.
After talking with other EV drivers, the team a CrossChasm realised that what owners really wanted was a way to accurately and easily track their own performance and their car’s performance over time.
The MyEV logger is designed on the same hardware CrossChasm uses in its FleetCarma fleet logging solution, but tweaked to work exclusively with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Unlike other solutions which tend to be very vehicle-centric, the MyEV logger works with pretty much every mainstream EV on sale in the world today.
Once the data has been automatically uploaded to your smartphone via bluetooth, you can even opt to share your data with other EV drivers as part of a wider team or group.
You could have a group for your local EV owners’ association, or perhaps link with colleagues at work to see how many collective EV miles your organisation is driving.
The more people you have in your team and the more miles you drive, says CrossChasm, the more app features are unlocked. As the user base grows, so too will the functionality of the app, we’re promised.
We think that’s all pretty neat, but perhaps the most important features for us come courtesy of the smart phone app which links with the bluetooth dongle. And it doesn’t even require you to buy the dongle.
Included for those who buy the MyEV logger and available as a stand-alone item for $15, CrossChasm’s MyEV logging program includes a QR sticker which owners put in the window of their car.
Then, when they’re at the charging station, other users can contact them anonymously via the app to ask if it’s okay to unplug them and start charging, or to ask them to come and move their vehicle if it’s finished charging.
Because the MyEV logger app knows how full your car’s battery is, it can even anonymously send your car’s state of charge to the other user with your permission. This makes it easy for example, to ask a fellow EV owner to let you unplug their car and plug yours in because you really are running on empty.
It’s also great for those with plug-in hybrids who worry that they may be preventing another user from getting the charging they really need in an emergency.
Here at Transport Evolved, we’ve put our money where our mouths are — and we’ve ordered two loggers to use on our own fleet of cars. We’re hopeful we’ll even be able to have our very own team made up of editorial staff and you, our readers, racking up miles and stats for Transport Evolved.
At the time of writing, the MyEV Logger Indiegogo campaign has 28 days left to run — and need to raise a total of $25,000 in order to achieve its funding goal.
If you like the idea of the window sticker but aren’t bothered about the logging, you can join up for $15. Depending on the car you have– and how quickly you sign up — the logger starts at $119.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.