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FleetCarma’s Electric Vehicle Champion Challenge: A competition turned community

By Megan Allen, Vehicle Technology Analyst, CrossChasm

FleetCarma’s EV Champion Challenge was an online competition for electric vehicle (EV) drivers in Canada and the United States to find electric vehicle drivers 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 about the winners and the stories!

Last month FleetCarma’s Electric Vehicle Champion Challenge came to a close.  The challenge ran for 3 months and featured owners of several electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Plug-in Prius, and Ford Focus Electric.

Powertech’s Chevy Volt at the lookout about half way up to Cypress Mountain in BC.

Powertech’s Chevy Volt at the lookout about half way up to Cypress Mountain in BC.

The strength in this competition was that it took people from across Canada and the US, with different vehicles and different lifestyles and showed that an electric vehicle was something that could work for just about anyone.  The challenge showed that there is no stereotypical EV owner mold, and that having an electric vehicle is embracing a new technology and making it fit into your life.  These were individuals that detailed a variety of challenges that they had, but had quickly adapted and innovated to solve them.

The winner of the challenge was John Carroll, who managed to fully charge his Volt twice each day.  John’s usage highlights the importance of having the ability to charge at work, something a fellow Volt owner Mark, campaigned for early on. Workplace charging was one of several key topics that were highlighted throughout the challenge.   Popular topics for discussion included how an electric vehicle’s regenerative brakes handle poor weather conditions, and how those regenerative brakes may require additional signaling.

fleetcarma challenge

Team Volt was exceptional in their enthusiasm and participation.  They excelled in blog posting, mini-challenges, and fuel savings. Team Volt managed to stack up twice as much distance per driver than the other teams, and did so with 85% of that distance powered from the battery.  Their overall efficiency was so high that when the final results were announced, 4 of the top 5 drivers were Volt owners.

Within Team Volt we had the most prolific blogger, the highest electric utilization of a plug-in hybrid,  and our Canadian lead, Mark Batten-Carew.  Mark wrote some key blog posts throughout the challenge with a focus on uniquely Canadian issues surrounding electric vehicle ownership.

Although the Volt participation seemed overwhelming, other vehicles in the competition were well represented.  Team Leaf had the participant with the highest battery-electric-vehicle utilization, and several insightful blog posts that tackled issues surrounding winter driving.

The sole Focus Electric owner in the competition won the mini-challenge by bringing his state of charge down to 5% of the battery’s capacity, the lowest level we saw throughout the competition.

Most of all, the challenge showcased the friendliness that comes out of having a small community of people that care greatly about a wide variety of issues and came to the same solution.  For each of them, whether for environmental or economic reasons, an electric car was the right fit.  Check out the challenge blog posts to learn more about why these drivers chose to plug-in and their day to day experiences while owning one.

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