The Electric Vehicle Champion Challenge

By Megan Allen, Vehicle Technology Analyst, CrossChasm
FleetCarma’s EV Champion Challenge is an online competition for electric vehicle (EV) drivers in Canada and the United States. The purpose is to find an electric vehicle driver who would use their real-world driving as well as blogging to champion their electric vehicle as the best car out there. Read on to find out more details on the challenge – and watch out for new stories in the coming weeks!
How it began
To start, we wanted to hear from electric vehicle owners who had different models and types of vehicles and see how their driving and experiences were similar and how they differed.
We wanted to feature a range of electric vehicles, from pure battery electric vehicles, which are powered solely by a rechargeable battery pack on board, to plug-in hybrid vehicles, which have a back-up gasoline engine to compliment the electric motor.
The battery electric vehicle models that we have are the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric and the Plug-in Hybrid vehicle models are the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Plug-in Prius.

EV owners fleet carmaCollected photos of the participants and their vehicles

What are they competing for?
With personalized data, car owners can make the best decisions about how to use their vehicle in order to save money and be more environmentally friendly.
FleetCarma‘s data logger can track information about driving, emissions, and energy use. People can use FleetCarma to learn more about their vehicles based on their usage in the real-world.  The winner of the EV Champion Challenge will receive a free year of data logging so they can continue to track how their electric vehicle is performing.
What makes an EV Champion?
When we choose a winner, we’ll be looking at the gas the drivers save by driving their electric vehicle instead of an average gas-powered vehicle.  We’ll also look at how much they champion their EV online, whether through blog posts, tweets or Facebook posts relating to the challenge.  In addition, we’re rewarding points for mini-competitions that we are having throughout the challenge.  The first mini-competition challenged the drivers to take advantage of opportunity charging (charging that the electric vehicle does during the day to increase its daily range) near their work or while running errands.
What have we learned so far?
So far the challenge has been a really great example of the community that forms between electric vehicle owners.  The blog isn’t what we expected; we framed the challenge as a platform for different electric vehicle owners to promote their vehicle as the best out there.
We could not have been more wrong.
Instead of competing, the challengers are helping each other. The blog is full of helpful tips, advice, and stories from drivers of different vehicles.  For example, the reasons they chose a Volt over a Leaf are justified by explaining personal preferences and lifestyle.  Canadian EV owners in particular are very active on the blog, posting helpful tips about driving in the snow, and keeping your car warm without draining the battery.
EV snow fleet carma

“You’re buying gas to warm up the hood of your car”

The challenge wraps up in a few weeks and we’ll be announcing the winner on Earth Day, until then check out our participant’s blog to learn more about their electric vehicle experience.