• 07.26.11

The Electric Car Driving Test: New App Predicts Whether EVs Are Right For You

You can’t find out if an electric car is really going to fit your needs during a test drive. But this new app measures your current driving habits and tells you if an EV or hybrid fits your lifestyle.


Electric cars are great for everyone–in theory. In reality, the EVs of today are beholden to the limits of lithium-ion batteries and charge station availability. It’s difficult to gauge whether your driving habits will work with an EV’s limitations without buying one. But that’s an expensive test, which is why Virtual Vehicle Company has developed Virtual Test Drive, an app that runs in the background of your smartphone, logging data about the way you drive every time you get in the car.


Once the service is used by more people, Virtual Test Drive’s aggregated data could even be leveraged by planners to figure out where EV infrastructure is needed most.

So far, Virtual Test Drive is only available to beta testers. Laura Schewel, chief scientist at Virtual Vehicle Company, tells Fast Company that many testers have been surprised by their daily and weekly gasoline expenditures, as well as by the large number of EV charge stations located along their most well-traveled routes. Want to check out Virtual Test Drive for yourself? Beta testers can sign up here.

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About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.