Emergence of Electric Vehicle Software: A Comprehensive Business Guide

Saurabh Singh September 29, 2023
Emergence of Electric Vehicle Software- A Comprehensive Business Guide

Do you know what makes electric vehicles disruptive? So, the automakers, for a long time, thought that the EVs’ powertrain, mainly their engines and transmissions, were the two deciding factors that set each EV apart from the rest.

Fast forward to the present, the misconception is kind of not there anymore. The EV makers now adhere to the fact that apart from some extremely high-end models, every EV is similar. But still, the driving experience of an electric BMW differs from that of an electric Cadillac. If the powertrain is not the differentiator, then what is?

Well, the simple answer is – User Experience that comes from integrated software. Tesla Model 3 drivers have expressed satisfaction with the iPad-like display that serves as the car’s control center. The seamless display integrated with world-class software controls various functions such as music and driving modes, thereby setting it apart from the rest of the EVs worldwide.

Ever since the US President Biden signed Executive Order 14057 in December 2021, which, among other things, set a target for the federal government’s fleet of light-duty vehicles to be 100% zero-emission by 2027, the proliferation of Electric Vehicles (EVs) on roads across the globe has been spurred.  Add to that the continuous evolution of EV technology and the ideal environment for accelerated sales.

According to a report by McKinsey, the automotive software market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 9%, doubling in size from $31 billion in 2019 to approximately $80 billion in 2030. The pandemic has accelerated the future of mobility, and automotive companies are now looking forward to software and electronics as the next frontier that can transform the EV industry.

This guide will help you offer an intuitive insight into the world of electric vehicle software and how it can help take your business to new heights. We will also look at the multiple types of electric vehicle mobile app development and software along with the tech stack, features, and cost estimations of developing one.

So without further ado, let’s start with the basics first.

accelerate your success with custom EV software

Understanding the Significance of Electric Vehicle Softwares

As fuel prices continue to rise worldwide and environmental concerns become rather valid, many consumers are now turning to electric vehicles (EVs) as a solution. EVs have become increasingly popular due to their ability to reduce overall emissions and minimize the impact of travel on ecosystems.

When it comes to traditional cars that use internal combustion engines, people usually differentiate them on factors like their working process, the quantity of fuel used, and the corresponding effect on the driver and travel experience. However, when it comes to electric vehicles, they are known to differ as per the underlying technology and mechanics. EV parts are smaller, more compact, and work in a standardized way.

It is important to understand that the software used in electric vehicles (EVs) is the vital factor that sets them apart from their competitors. In order to provide value-added services and gain a competitive advantage, EV makers must pay heed and prioritize the development of their software just as much as their hardware. By doing so, they can offer unique features and services that will distinguish their products in the market.

Electric vehicles’ (EVs’) performance and reliability are known to depend rather heavily on the integration of advanced software and electronically controlled systems. These technologies can be quite complex, making their successful implementation challenging. However, with proper attention to detail and careful planning by a dedicated electric vehicle software and app development company like Appinventiv, the benefits of these cutting-edge systems can be realized effectively.

electric vehicle market

According to McKinsey’s research, making up the largest share of the electric vehicle market are the ECU (electronic control unit) and DCU (domain control unit), whose overall market share is expected to reach $144 billion by 2030.

On the other hand is the software development market which includes integration, verification, and validation. The market will witness a second-largest share with a revenue potential of $83 billion by 2030.

ADAS and AD software are projected to contribute significantly to this growth, accounting for almost half the software market by 2030. The timing of software development for higher-level autonomous driving, such as urban AD, will precede market introduction by several years.

The electric vehicle apps are designed to link to the car’s onboard computer system and gather relevant information on the vehicle’s performance, including the battery life, charging status, and total energy usage. This data is then analyzed and presented to the driver in a user-friendly format, allowing them to manage their electric vehicles more efficiently.

Real-time battery monitoring, route planning and navigation, and remote vehicle control are important features that can be integrated into electric vehicle software. In addition, the software can help drivers find the most efficient routes, locate charging stations, and monitor their vehicle’s performance in real-time, all from their mobile devices.

The increasing popularity of EVs has led to an increased demand for innovative software that can set them apart and offer an exceptional driving experience. Thus, now is the right time to invest in robust software for your electric vehicle that can address the current pain points experienced by the EV sector and emerge as a significant player in the EV ecosystem.

Now that you have understood the significance of EV software development, let us move on and look at the multiple types of mobile apps that can be developed for electric vehicles.

Innovative App Ideas That Can Dominate the EV Industry

Here are a few app ideas that are paving the way for success across multiple regions in the world, thereby offering a new definition to the user experience of an electric vehicle:

1. EV Charging and Parking Apps

As the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, so does the significance of EV parking apps. Many EV parking applications allow users to schedule a charging station in advance and pay for charging services via the app, making charging an EV more convenient and streamlined. By giving real-time details on the position, types, and accessibility of charging stations nearby, these apps let drivers locate the nearest one and verify if it is open.

The ability of EV parking applications to reduce range anxiety among EV drivers is one of their main advantages. These apps can assist drivers in route planning and guarantee that they always have access to a charging station when they require one by offering real-time information on charging station locations. By allowing drivers to reserve a charging station in advance and guaranteeing that it will be available when they arrive, EV parking applications can also assist in easing congestion at busy charging stations.

We recently built a platform called SemaConnect that offers the users an electric sense of purpose which is making EV chargers accessible to everyone and everywhere. The app allows the users to track the nearby charging station to power up their electric vehicle.  They can also purchase the EV chargers for various aspects : Residential chargers, Commercial chargers, DC fast chargers. Furthermore, the app allows the users to checkout the charging duration, fuel saved, energy delivered, etc.

Sema Connect

2. EV Navigation Apps

EV navigation apps are made to assist EV drivers in more effectively planning their trips by considering the location and accessibility of charging stations along the way. These apps offer up-to-date details on the network of charging stations, such as the types of connectors offered, the charging rate, and the cost. Drivers can optimize their trips to reduce charging time and increase range using an EV navigation app.

One of the key benefits of EV navigation applications is that they can lessen EV drivers’ range anxiety. These apps can assist drivers in route planning and guarantee that they always have access to a charging station when they need one by offering real-time information on the location and availability of charging stations. By offering real-time traffic and weather updates, EV navigation applications may also assist drivers in avoiding delays and ensuring they reach their destinations safely and on schedule.

[Also Read: How to build a GPS navigation app?]

3. EV Virtual Test Drive

A computer software called an “EV virtual test drive app” replicates the feeling of operating an electric vehicle. These apps are spreading like wildfire as interest in EVs is increasing. With an EV virtual test drive software, potential buyers can feel the vehicle’s acceleration, handling, and braking in a realistic setting, which will help them make a better purchasing decision.

The ability of EV virtual test drive apps to assist in removing obstacles to EV adoption is one of their key benefits. The inexperience of many drivers with electric vehicles can significantly deter buying one. These apps assist potential customers in comprehending the advantages of driving an EV and increase their confidence in buying one by offering a virtual test drive experience.

EV virtual test drive app for your business

4. EV Fleet Management App

Apps for managing electric vehicle fleets are created to assist fleet managers in tracking and improving the performance of their electric vehicle fleets. Fleet managers can make data-driven decisions about company operations thanks to these apps, which provide real-time information on vehicle location, battery level, and charging status. The proper operation of their EVs and the availability of drivers’ charging stations may be ensured by fleet managers utilizing EV fleet management software.

The ability of EV fleet management software to save operating expenses and increase fleet effectiveness is one of their key benefits. These apps can assist fleet managers in planning their routes and minimizing downtime by providing real-time information on vehicle location, battery life, and charging status. EV fleet management systems can also give managers insights into scheduled maintenance tasks, allowing them to take preventative action and reduce repair expenses.

5. EV Battery Health Monitor App

Apps to track the health and performance of EV batteries are available to assist electric vehicle owners. These applications offer real-time battery capacity, health, and charge level updates. Owners can ensure their battery is working properly and see any possible difficulties before they become serious by using an EV battery health monitor app.

The ability of EV battery health monitor applications to assist an electric vehicle’s battery last longer is one of their key benefits. Owners can prevent deterioration and increase the battery’s lifespan by keeping an eye on the battery’s performance and spotting any problems early. These apps can also assist owners in modifying their driving practices to extend battery life and lessen recharge frequency. By giving more precise data on the battery’s performance and remaining range, EV battery health monitor applications can also aid in reducing range anxiety. Owners may be able to better organize their travels and prevent unexpected power outages.

6. EV Renting App

EV Rental Apps allow users to search for, rent, and manage electric vehicles (EVs) for a specific amount of time and money. These apps offer the EV rental companies a dedicated platform to advertise their services to customers, thereby, allowing them to access a range of electric vehicles for hourly, daily, or weekly basis.

These apps make way for the customers to easily find and book EVs, while rental companies can expand their customer base and increase their revenue. One of the major benefits of EV Rental Apps is that they offer a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional car rental services.

Moo is an example of an electric scooter app, developed by the expert team at Appinventiv, that allows users to ride electric scooters anywhere around their community. All they have to do is pick the electric scooter up and drop them off wherever it’s most convenient for them. The app further allows the users to simply find a scooter near them, scan the code, and take it for the ride!

Moo

Common Software Products Used for Operating EVs

You can get software for electric vehicles in two forms – a generic comprehensive software package offering a range of services or feature-specific software focusing on specific functionalities. For example, Tesla’s autonomous driving feature, Tesla Autopilot, provides full self-driving capabilities.

 1. Virtual prototypes for EVs

One of the major growing trends in EV-based software is the development of virtual prototypes. This software is developed to replicate the most intricate electromechanical components and handle the interaction between the EVs hardware and software in virtual models.

The use of virtualization software provides a cost-effective solution for the development and testing of EVs, thereby eliminating the need for expensive physical prototyping and testing. This technology has gained prominence due to its ability to streamline development, improve efficiency, and reduce overall costs.

2. Digital cockpit

As electric vehicles continue to evolve, it is vital to provide users with a more digital driving experience. Digital cockpit software can replace traditional dashboard systems, including steering wheels and gearboxes. This all-digital dashboard system aligns with the technological advancements of EVs and offers a more streamlined and efficient driving experience by offering drivers more information and control over their vehicles.

3. Intelligent mobility solutions

With the help of digitalization, we can transform any machine into a connected device, and electric vehicles are no different. EVs can benefit from SaaS-based smart mobility solutions to become smarter. These solutions, integrated with IoT, can create a personalized and optimized user experience for the driver. For example, the software integrated into the EVs can help the driver receive real-time traffic alerts, send emergency alerts, schedule maintenance, and more by collecting data from vehicle sensors.

4. Software for self-driving cars

The development of autonomous or self-driving cars is a current focus of many companies, including Google and Tesla. These vehicles are being tested and could be on our roads soon when the legal and compliance issues are resolved. A significant amount of money and effort is invested in this technology, indicating a strong belief in its potential benefits.

Cost to Develop Electric Vehicle Software

To give you a brief idea, the cost of developing an electric vehicle software can vary between $40,000 to $300,000. Multiple factors impact the development budget, such as the type of app or software that is being developed, its complexity, the protocols implemented during development, the software development agency’s location, the software’s design, its feature set, etc.

Also read: How much does a fast-charging system like the Tesla Supercharger cost?

Let us try and offer you an estimated cost of electric vehicle software based on the overall complexity that has been imparted to it:

EV Software ComplexityEstimated Average Cost of DevelopmentTime Frame
Simple$40,000 to $60,0003 to 6 months
Moderate$60,000 to $120,0006 to 9 months
High$120,000 to $300,0009-18 months

Looking for the exact cost of developing an EV software?

Tech Stack to Develop an Electric Vehicle Software

Choosing the right technology stack to create your electric vehicle software is one of the most vital factors that impacts the overall success of the software in the market. Leveraging the EV ecosystem’s superior digital solutions can help you target the right audience and convert them into active customers thereby, maximizing the EV revenue.

Tech Stack to Develop an Electric Vehicle Software

Features of an Electric Vehicle Application

Customers usually expect the new mobility solutions as per their needs while, at the same time, they wish them to be rather intelligent. Electric vehicles have broken these barriers in recent years by emerging as the most dominant species of the automotive world. Here are some of the smart features that are bound to set an EV apart from the rest:

Features of an Electric Vehicle Application

Onboard Navigation

It is unsafe to check the notifications and navigation on the phone while driving. To resolve this issue, the speedometer or dashboards of the EVs are now compatible with robust software that can be connected to your mobile phone, thereby helping you to check the notifications, call alerts, navigation, etc., easily without having to take your eyes off the road.

For instance, we designed and developed an intuitive IoT-based gesture-recognition mobile app, ActiDrive that allows the drivers to be in touch with their mobile phone’s functionalities with the help of gesture movements, without letting their eyes leave the road.

ActiDrive

Range and Charge Prediction

The feature must be capable of sharing the relevant information on the battery life and the distance you can cover with the remaining battery. You can simply add the location to your software integrated into the dashboard and check out if you have enough juice to reach your destination.

Anti-Theft Features

The software should feature geo-location, geo-fencing, and lock/unlock capabilities that can be further handled with the help of the mobile app as well. It ensures increased safety for your electric vehicle regarding thefts, malware, etc.

Pre-emptive Remote Diagnostics

Data collection as per the vehicle’s health helps in timely vehicle maintenance and troubleshooting. This feature can help you understand if any part of the EV needs attention and why.

Over-the-Air Updates

This feature is responsible for the automatic installation and updates of software and firmware with the help of cloud connectivity.

Charging Station Details

This feature can offer users the details of the multiple changing stations, their operational hours, the facilities they provide, etc. It is great for users to decide when and where to charge their EV’s battery and manage their time accordingly.

SOS button

Users can use the SOS button in case of an emergency, such as the discharge of batteries, tire bursting, etc. This button can be used within the app that further sends an email and SMS directly to the authorities as well as your emergency contacts and shares your exact coordinates.

Key Challenges in the EV Software Sector

Here are the major challenges of installing software in the EVs that automakers face while working innovatively in an intensely competitive and unreliable ecosystem:

1. Selecting the best system architecture

EV software development is challenging due to the intricate integration requirements and complexities involved. As a result, developers often face architectural difficulties. To ensure that the architecture is fail-safe, Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) accreditation that demonstrates the architecture’s reliability and safety is rather important.

The current trend among developers is to use a combined structure for electric vehicle functionalities, which involves integrating them into a single electronic control unit (ECU). This hybrid design necessitates only one cooling system and one control system, such as the DC/DC converter and onboard charging component. The benefits of this approach include reduced complexity, weight, and cost.

2. Maintaining cybersecurity

For an EV, internet access is a necessity; thus, there are more risks associated with cybersecurity as well as increased online threats. Now, EVs are mainly susceptible to DDoS and malware attacks as they usually connect to a piece of supply equipment or charging stations with the help of WiFi or USBs.

This vulnerability is capable of exposing personal data that includes:

  • Contact information
  • Payment information
  • Usernames and passwords
  • Text communications

The hackers can further use the online activity performed by the driver to damage the battery pack by using some ransomware, thereby increasing the overall chances of putting the grid network at risk.

Developers need to reduce these kinds of cybersecurity risks by taking necessary precautions and implementing sophisticated security mechanisms while designing the ECUs (Electronic Control Units) like the firewall responsible for safeguarding the information and data present in the vehicle.

[Also Read: Top 10 cloud security risks and how to tackle them]

3. Ensuring driver’s safety

The safety requirements associated with an electric vehicle are constantly increasing and evolving, and drivers must have the necessary protections related to the design, fail-safe functions, and ASIL compliance to minimize the overall risks.

Power inverters must meet high functional safety standards to ensure safe operation. Additionally, the battery management system (BMS) plays a critical role in ensuring the proper functioning of the EV’s battery.

4. Adapting to the changing protocols

As EV technology advances, new sets of protocols for charging station connectivity are constantly emerging. These protocols vary across multiple EVs based on the station’s physical location and manufacturer. ECUs must use a network stack to guarantee interoperability across all EV components to ensure drivers can keep moving seamlessly. This is necessary to avoid potential compatibility issues that could cause delays or inconvenience for drivers.

To address these challenges, a dedicated EV software development company like Appinventiv is capable of building a platform that provides the following:

  • An AUTOSAR-aware environment that can be used to integrate, test and analyze the software and simultaneously reduce the hardware dependency.
  • Support for multi-domain model-based systems engineering (MBSE) that can encompass the necessary mechanical, software, and electrical components.
  • Layered and embedded ECU security encrypted with features that support integrity, authenticity and confidentiality, and functional safety use cases for all ISO 26262 defined levels.
  • Support for the full range of EV charging protocols

The key to solve these challenges is an increased collaboration between the EV software development team. Making use of robust development tools integrated with extensive modeling and simulation features is ideal for success. The expert team at Appinventiv can combine the individual’s unique perspectives to create more innovative and effective solutions, capable of tackling these challenges first-hand.

Ready to Take the Next Big Step with Appinventiv?

 It is an undeniable fact that software solutions play a crucial role in the eMobility industry. Electric vehicles, in particular, heavily rely on software for their proper functioning. This dependency on eMobility solutions is expected to persist in the future as well. The various aspects of eMobility, such as charging infrastructure, battery management, and vehicle-to-grid communication, all require software solutions to operate effectively.

Appinventiv is a dedicated electric vehicle mobile app development company whose cutting-edge solutions and impactful EV initiative can assist you in surmounting the challenges of early software adoption and equip you to boost your EV business. Our innovative solutions integrated with cutting-edge technologies are designed to help you stay ahead of the curve and achieve your business objectives seamlessly.

We recently designed Bolt Charging Network which is a decentralized EV charging network that is located across India. Powering our network is a smart universal charging point that is further available for purchase, not just for EV owners but also for individuals who want to install EV charging points in their homes, garages, shops, commercial areas, etc. The BOLT app allows EV users today to locate the nearest charging points in 300+ cities across the nation.

BOLT

Get in touch with our team now for a custom EV software solution designed exactly as per your business needs. Our EV industry experience combined rich technical know-how guarantees to assist you in every possible scenario.

FAQs

Q. Why are EV software important?

A. Businesses can benefit greatly from a dedicated EV software as they offer a wide range of information and services that can help their users manage electric vehicles and charging requirements. With features such as real-time charging station availability and trip planning, EV software or apps can make the switch to electric vehicles much easier and more convenient. Additionally, some EV software offers personalized recommendations based on driving habits and battery health, which can improve the overall performance and longevity of the vehicle.

Q. How to develop a custom EV software?

A. Developing electric vehicle software requires expert development techniques as well as prior experience working in the EV industry. A dedicated software and mobile app development company like Appinventiv that has years of expertise in the domain can help you realize your vision in no time.

Q. How does EV software integrate with electric vehicles?

A. With the help of APIs, EV software is capable of connecting to the data network of the vehicle and operating alongside electric automobiles. This interface allows the software to access important information about the vehicle, including its battery level, charging history, and other health updates which can be used to optimize the user’s experience. By utilizing this technology, EV software can provide a more comprehensive and efficient service to its users.

Saurabh Singh
THE AUTHOR
Saurabh Singh
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
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