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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4695975, 17 pages
Research Article

Differences in Energy Consumption in Electric Vehicles: An Exploratory Real-World Study in Beijing

1Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2Transport Studies Unit, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Kezhen Hu

Received 7 April 2017; Revised 4 July 2017; Accepted 6 August 2017; Published 13 September 2017

Academic Editor: Jing Dong

Copyright © 2017 Kezhen Hu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electric vehicles (EVs) are widely regarded as a promising solution to reduce air pollution in cities and key to a low carbon mobility future. However, their environmental benefits depend on the temporal and spatial context of actual usage (journey energy efficiency) and the rolling out of EVs is complicated by issues such as limited range. This paper explores how the energy efficiency of EVs is affected and shaped by driving behavior, personal driving styles, traffic conditions, and infrastructure design in the real world. Tests have been conducted with a Nissan LEAF under a typical driving cycle on the Beijing road network in order to improve understanding of variations in energy efficiency among drivers under different urban traffic conditions. Energy consumption and operation parameters were recorded in both peak and off-peak hours for a total of 13 drivers. The analysis reported in this paper shows that there are clear patterns in energy consumption along a route that are in part related to differences in infrastructure design, traffic conditions, and personal driving styles. The proposed method for analyzing time series data about energy consumption along routes can be used for research with larger fleets of EVs in the future.