Home EV Design Challenge

The assignment

As part of a job application, I was tasked with the following design challenge:

“As a real sustainable and future-oriented person, you drive an Electric Vehicle (EV). You have an appointment in Amsterdam and you will be driving there from Eindhoven, 130km away, with your EV.

Just a couple of hours before, you find out that the remaining range of your car is about 80km. That’s not enough to make it to Amsterdam.

Design a solution that helps people to find the best way to overcome the EV range problem.”

In the absence of any research data or resources, I was permitted to make the following assumptions:

  • EV’s already alert the user when the battery is low, and display how far one can travel on the remaining capacity.
    Designing a solution for this would be too simple, and not help our user in their current situation.
  • This user has a navigation app installed in their EV

Research

Research goals:

  • What’s it like to own an EV?
  • Considerations / challenges?
  • How long does it take to charge?

Charging overnight results in a lower unit rate of electricity consumption, therefore it’s cheaper to own than a regular car.

 

Drivers may be exempt from taxes and congestion charges depending on the city and cost of the vehicle.

 

More spacious inside than a similarly sized petrol car.

 

The UK government is planning to phase out petrol-powered cars.

Comes with a regular plug and a fast charger to charge via the mains.

Where to charge it is an issue, especially if living in high density or rented accommodation.

Tesla has “Supercharger stations” around the UK but it’s only for Teslas. Otherwise, dealers like Nissan let you charge the car at the dealership.

You can sign up to a charging scheme, allowing you to use charging points in public. There are 42,000 public points in the UK.

“Charging stations often offer rapid charging units capable of charging to 80% capacity in under an hour.”

Current generation EVs can travel 150-200 miles (241-321km)

Eindhoven to Amsterdam is 122km (130km according to assignment)

80km remaining = 62% of necessary range to reach Amsterdam

User has 2 hours to get to their appointment, it takes 1h20m to reach Amsterdam

= They have 40min in which to sufficiently charge their vehicle.

 

How long does it take to charge at least 38%?

Assuming it takes 60min to charge 80%, the user has to charge their EV for at least 28.5min to reach Amsterdam.

Ideation

User persona
and journey mapping

High-level requirements

  • GPS/map app (assumption)
  • Icons/visualisation of charging stations on the map
  • Visualisation of time needed to charge
  • Payment processing for subscription (assumption)

User flow

Low-fidelity mock up