I consistently recommend A Better Routeplanner (ABRP) to new EV owners. Why? Because it makes longer journeys in just about any electric vehicle not only possible, but much less stressful. Back when I got my first longer-range electric vehicle that I wanted to take road trips in, I quickly discovered that the official EPA range was an awful number to rely on. when planning a trip, especially when traveling at western interstate highway speeds (75 -85 MPH, or get run over). There was also the problem of serious range exhaustion on steep sections of road, another fact of driving life in the western states.
But ABRP changed that. It takes all the guesswork out of road trips and helps you plan routes that take into account the terrain, the speed at which you are driving and other elements such as battery degradation, traffic, weather and weather conditions. other factors that affect your autonomy. The software is so good that I’ve used it to run simulations and estimate what current and future EVs would do on road trips.
In a previous post, I suggested some ways EV owners could help the project improve and become even more accurate. To help, you can donate to the open source projects the data came from and you can help capture more data to make things more accurate. In this previous article, I mainly focused on updating speed limits in Open Street Map to make driving predictions more accurate.
But, there is another problem that I have encountered many times when planning trips: the charging stations that I know of are there, but do not appear on the ABRP map. This leads the app to not know that certain routes are even possible for my vehicles. To get around this, I’ve often added a waypoint and then manually added my load information, but that’s not a great way to do things.
However, there is an easy way to fix this: help add stations to the app so it can automatically route drivers through them. You can’t just add them directly to the app to do this, but an ABRP blog post explains how to do it right. In short, the solution is to add charging station data to the projects that ABRP derives its data from. This not only helps ABRP get its information right, but it also helps other open source projects (available now and in the future) that will help EV drivers get where they’re going.
If you care about EV adoption and the future of EVs, it’s certainly only worth a few minutes of your time to add charging stations to Open Charge Map. ABRP and Open Charge cards are already used not only by enthusiasts and current owners, but are increasingly used by manufacturers who want to offer good advice to new owners, sometimes including data and software in their systems infotainment.
To add stations that anyone can use, create an account on the website, then scroll the map to where you know a station is missing. A blue marker will appear in the middle of the screen and you will move the screen to exactly where the station should be on the map. Next, click on the blue marker to bring up the wizard for adding station information. You’ll need to know what connectors it has, what the charging speeds are, and what network (if any) the station is part of.
In a day or two, the station will appear in the ABRP and EV drivers planning road trips will be able to have their trips routed through the stations.
Finally, I would also suggest donating a few bucks to ABRP and Open Charge Map to keep things in place and keep improving. You can find details on how to help Open Charge Map here, and you can get a monthly subscription for ABRP here.
Featured Image: Screenshot of the El Paso area in Open Charge Map.
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