A NEW app for Amazon Alexa and Google Play devices that answers commonly-asked electric car questions has been launched with the goal of encouraging drivers to shift to zero emission vehicles.
Voiced by writer and TV presenter Ben Fogle, the Electric Vehicles Voice App will answer more than 50 questions when prompted with “Alexa, open electric vehicles” or “Okay Google, talk to electric vehicles guide.”
The Go Ultra Low app is a joint government and car industry venture designed to encourage more British drivers to transition from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles (EVs). Go Ultra Low believes that by providing potential buyers with all the relevant information, they can make an informed decision to convert from fossil fuels to electric.
Future of Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “Electric vehicles are no longer an idea for the future, with more people than ever before opting for this new and exciting form of transport.
“Whether you’re interested in costs or the environmental benefits, this new app supported through the government’s Go Ultra low campaign, will help to drive the uptake of electric vehicles.
“This will in turn cut transport emissions and make our communities healthier, better places to live… all from the comfort of our own sofas.”
The government is investing £1.5bn into expanding the country’s charging network. There are currently 17,873 public charging points in 11,101 locations, according to Zap Map, but a perceived lack of places to recharge is a significant deterrent to potential electric car buyers, according to a March 2019 survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Aviva, with 66% of respondents citing this as their main reason for not converting.
Go Ultra Low has partnered with media agency Wavemaker to create the app, which will include information on range, costs and the environmental benefits of switching to an EV.
Wavemaker’s research found that 20,000 EV-related questions are asked per month, which are either unanswered or answered incorrectly by Alexa or Google Assistant. The company also found that only 26% of people who consider purchasing an electric vehicle actually take the plunge and purchase one.
After launching on February 6, 2020, by March 6 the app had answered 1,662 separate questions, with an average questioning period lasting 2 minutes and 52 seconds.
“If we want to help UK consumers make the most informed decision when it comes to switching to an electric vehicle, it’s important that Go Ultra Low understands the latest consumer behaviour and embraces new technology,” said Poppy Welch, the head of Go Ultra Low.
“Voice Search is a growing trend and this new service will help support potential EV customers in a completely different and innovative way.”