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Researchers begin quantifying effect of driving style on electric vehicle performance, economy and perception

In an initial study of the effect of age and driving style on energy consumption of EVs, researchers at the Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP), University of Sunderland (UK) asked a number of drivers of different ages to take an EV around a standard route. They found that efficiency could vary from 0.46 km to 1.89 km per percent of battery charge depending on driving style with the greatest efficiency. A paper on the study appears in the International Journal of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles.

The team also found that there are trends between age and efficiency and that these trends are dependent on the type of driving involved. The work might suggest for instance, that cautious older drivers may have a particularly economic driving style that could maximize the impact of energy regeneration during braking. The research is based on a small sample and the trends that emerge now warrant further investigation, the team says.

In order to verify several of the conclusions drawn from the available data a number of further studies are necessary. A detailed study of power flow and recovery during driving through junctions is needed to understand the effects of regenerative braking in such a circumstance. Furthermore, an investigation into driver behavior on the approach to junctions at different speeds and how this affects the amount of energy which is regenerated is required. The reaction of drivers to regenerative braking which occurs prior to activating the brake pedal also warrants further investigation.

If the social and economic benefits of EVs are to be fully realized then it is crucial that the reactions of their systems to different driving styles is understood so that driver training can be optimized alongside the ongoing development of the technology. The number of male drivers over the age of 70 is expected to double and the number of female drivers treble over the next 20 years (RAC, 2010), and this population could constitute a large portion of the future City Class EV market. The results presented in this paper represent a first step and provide direction to ensure that future research addresses both social and economic requirements, providing relevant and timely design recommendations matched to user needs.

—Knowles et al.


  • Mike Knowles, Helen Scott and David Baglee (2012) The effect of driving style on electric vehicle performance, economy and perception Int. J. Electric and Hybrid Vehicles, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp.The effect of driving style on electric vehicle performance, economy and perception228-247 doi: 10.1504/IJEHV.2012.050492



The majority of human drivers may not have the dexterity, ability, skill, the will power and the strength of character required to drive his or her vehicle in a consistent and compatible way with energy economy and extended e-range.

This will be possible with more driver assistance and even more so by moving the human driver to the back seat.


This is just an amazing study.. how much did it cost?

Henry Gibson

The same can be done for ICE automobiles. Automobile travel wastes nearly one-hundred percent of the fuel.

A major figure to be looked at is the miles per gallon at different speeds. Hydraulic hybrids could save over 30 percent of the automotive fuel without any change in the way people drive, and do it without much change in existing vehicles and at low cost. This hydraulic technology is now being devoted to eliminating gear wear in large wind turbines.

Every electric vehicle should have a liquid fuel powered range extender, even if it is never used, to eliminate all need to talk about the limited range of battery powered automobiles and to eliminate range anxiety.

An electric TATA nano is what is needed to promote electric vehicle use. It still has need of a range extended, and perhaps Bladon jets will provide 10 kW. ..HG..


I don't think it is that bad.
You could have simple signals to tell people to ease up a bit (or whatever) - and these should be optional.

It is reasonable that older people will drive less aggressively - they have presumably defined their position in society and are no longer trying to prove anything.
+ the can't see so well.

One counter-productive issue us that EVs are so economical that people might not bother to drive them economically.
If gas is $8 / US gallon (as it is in most of Europe), economics will keep people focused on driving economy. At 4 miles / KwH, there is less incentive (sorry for the mixed units).


Have you checked (most) Honda Civic's drivers lately? Around here they drive like crazy nuts. One of them double my wife in a Highway exit, too close and ripped her (driver side) rear view mirror off. Of course, he did not leave his business or social security card.

Every time I see one coming, with an inverted baseball cap, I keep an extra few feet away and let him go and criss-cross 3 lanes etc.

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