June 20, 2023

How to measure EV battery level with Smartcar’s APIs

Erica Bickel

Content Marketing Manager

Electric vehicle sales are on the rise, comprising over 5% of total U.S. car sales in 2021. By 2030, S&P Global Mobility predicts electric vehicle sales to surpass 40% of all total passenger car sales nationally. These optimistic statistics are encouraging for proponents of renewable energy, and as coming bills and regulations advance these topics, the industry is sure to see significant growth. In 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocated $7.5 billion for the construction of a nationwide charging network, and with it, a large investment to improve the nation’s power grid. This, coupled with increased consumer tax credits for EV ownership and further automaker buy-in, propels larger adoption.

But the transition to electric vehicles is not without challenges. Outside of cost, range anxiety (the fear of running out of charge mid-trip), remains prevalent for both owners and non-owners alike. As the U.S. hurries to expand access to charging stations and provide the infrastructure needed for such a move, there is one thing consumers can do to ease their anxieties — monitoring their EV’s battery level to maximize electric vehicle performance.

Methods of measurement: Traditional Services vs. Smartcar

Traditional methods of measurement include a host of physical tools and services. Consumers themselves can purchase an electric vehicle validation test (commonly referred to as a “battery health” test) from a local provider, buy a physical battery degradation charging tool, or request a report directly from the car’s manufacturer. To avoid additional costs, many electric vehicle owners estimate this figure themselves by verifying the total available range post-charge and monitoring this number for changes. Of course, this estimation method isn’t particularly reliable, and does not offer a detailed, comprehensive analysis of battery level or charge capacity. With few accurate, alternative options, it makes sense that consumers often turn to individual apps — or avoid this issue altogether.

But instead of diverting developer resources, standardizing a vast amount of vehicle data, and assuring enterprise-grade security compliance to build this solution from the ground up, why not use Smartcar’s car API platform? In just a few clicks, end-users can read their electric vehicle’s battery levels and total charge capacity, ensuring optimal performance for the years to come.

With a variety of compatible makes and models, Smartcar’s APIs give third-party applications the data security and installation efficiency they need to build comprehensive, easy-to-use apps for EV owners. By centralizing these capabilities via a powerful self-service dashboard, users can measure and record battery levels and overall usage quickly.

Why your company should use Smartcar as your API platform

😍 Ease of use

Smartcar’s solution is fast and easy to install, and your customers will appreciate its hardware-free attributes.

🔒 Data security

Unlike many third-party apps or API platforms, Smartcar offers SOC Type 2 compliance, and data encryption, and undergoes rigorous annual pen testing.

🚗 Brand coverage

Smartcar is compatible with over 100 different electric vehicle models across 25 brands in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

How to use Smartcar’s EV battery APIs

Recurrent makes it easy to buy, sell, and drive electric vehicles. One of its most important features? Creating battery reports for electric cars to determine average performance — because when it comes time to sell, good batteries are worth more. In order to train the company’s proprietary predictive algorithm to generate its battery condition reports, Recurrent used Smartcar’s APIs to retrieve both vehicle and EV battery information from subscribers who signed up for monthly battery reports. After vehicle owners consented to just four permissions, Recurrent could then monitor each customer vehicle’s mileage, range estimates, state of charge, and charging status.

Smartcar’s APIs for electric vehicles

🪫 Battery level: Retrieve the state of charge and the remaining range from a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV).

🔋 Battery capacity: Know the capacity of an electric vehicle’s battery.

🔌 Charging status: Check whether an EV’s charging cable is plugged in and charging.

⚡ Start or stop charge: Remotely start or stop charging a BEV or PHEV.

✅ EV charge limit: Preserve battery health by managing charge limits for electric vehicles.

On the other hand, DERMS providers and virtual power plant software use Smartcar's EV battery APIs to predict charging behavior, incentivize customer behavior, and shift charging loads. Amp X uses Smartcar’s EV battery APIs to communicate directly with electric vehicles for proactive, managed charging. To cover the widest possible user base of EV drivers spread across different vehicle brands and models, Amp X utilizes Smartcar’s platform to retrieve timely vehicle telematics data from its customers, powering its smart charging application.

Eliminate range anxiety

Smartcar’s API endpoints empower developers to build “smart route planning” tools, for everything from short trips around town to long excursions. By combining our battery level API with our location API, and in conjunction with the end user’s desired location, developers can optimize routes for electric vehicles. This helps customers plan the best trip according to their desired destination, state of charge, and the locations of charging stations along the way, while easing range anxiety.

Continuously poor or low battery levels have serious ramifications. Whether that’s difficulty troubleshooting issues, more visits to the auto shop, worse performance or reliability, each contributes to range anxiety and the likelihood of a shorter vehicle lifespan. Measuring EV battery capacity is undoubtedly important, and using Smartcar’s APIs, more seamless than ever. To provide better service to your customers, catering to this growing need for comprehensive battery information is critical.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Smartcar can do for your EV solution, request a demo with us.

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