What started out as a question about range anxiety, turned into a way to help people make decisions. Because preparation is such a large part of the electric car experience, the driver has to stay connected to information about their car, especially while not in it.
There are myriad tools to help the driver analyze their range while driving and just as many to help them look back after they've gotten home, but it occurred to me that there was a gap in tools that help the driver plan before they get on the road.
OnStar's solution was the low-hanging fruit, giving people a numerical range value on an app. This is effective for a certain kind of information, but it's not imaginative, it doesn't help me when I'm wondering if I can get somewhere and back.
So I decided to show people rather than tell them.
Working with our engineering teams, we created a dynamic range display based on actual mapping data. The red line is how far a driver can go one way and the blue line is a round trip.
But there's more to knowing whether or not you're ready to hop in your electric car. Let's say your car is charging in the garage and you want to go to the grocery store. You can either go now, or do some laundry first and to find out which, the system can display increased range as a factor of time spent charging. This way, you can get a visual picture of how much farther you'll be able to go if you wait another ten, twenty, or thirty minutes to charge.
And if you don't want to keep checking the screen, you can set the system to alert you when a specific destination is within range. Below you can see that the system is going to let me know when Tessaro's restaurant is within round trip range.