Driving behaviour and trip condition effects on the energy consumption of an electric vehicle under real-world driving

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This work evaluates driving behaviour, trip distance, ambient temperature, traffic condition and road grade effects on the specific energy consumption (SEC) of an electric vehicle (EV) under different operation modes according to a real driving cycle (RDC) test schedule. A compact size EV was operated in the roads of the second largest populated city in the United Kingdom for nearly four years, with real-time data collected, processed and stored by a monitoring software communicating with the electronic central unit. The trips were selected according to fully compliance with the RDC test in the individual operation modes based on vehicle speed – urban, rural and motorway – and those with shorter distances than the specifications. The driving behaviour was classified as aggressive, moderate and passive, according to dynamic operation limits, and the parameters representing the traffic conditions were stop time percentage and average vehicle speed in urban driving. The results show that the SEC is highly influenced by changes in the outside temperature, nearly doubling from operation at moderate temperatures of around 20 °C to operation at temperatures as low as 0 °C. Short trips below 16 km caused nearly 10% SEC average increase in comparison with longer ones, showing more awkward effects in motorway operation with a SEC rise up to 29%. Traffic conditions and driving behaviour also demonstrated a high influence on SEC, increasing it by as much as 40% and 16%, respectively, from the most favourable to the most unfavourable condition. In comparison with flat roads, ascending roads with 3% grade increased SEC by 50% while descending roads with −3% grade decreased SEC by 80%, with the assistance of the regenerative brake system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117096
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date27 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Electric vehicles
  • energy consumption
  • traffic conditions
  • driving behaviour
  • ambient temperature
  • road grade


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