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App launched to promote electric vehicle adoption in Ireland

In a bid to reduce the use of polluting vehicles in Ireland, researchers from Trinity’s School of Engineering in Dublin have created a new app to encourage people to consider EVs as a viable alternative. 

Having been developed by the TRACT Project (TRAnsport Behaviour Change Trials) the app is known as TRACT EV and is described by the team as a ‘significant milestone in the project’s mission to promote sustainable transportation practices’.

silhouette photo of person holding smartphone

Since the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 became law, Ireland is legally bound to reduce emissions by 51% by 2023 and to net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

The TRACT project was set up to help achieve these goal and brings together a team of experts from various fields including civil engineering, psychology, and computer science, under the leadership of Principal Investigator, Professor Brian Caulfield.

TRACT have set up two separate trials which respectively aim to drive a transition to electric vehicles and promote the use of mobility hubs.

The TRACT EV smartphone app has been developed to inform users about their driving behaviour, with personalised insights into their driving behaviours and the potential benefits of transitioning to an electric vehicle. Several specific use cases will be examined (those without driveways, taxi drivers, and rural groups) to determine what would encourage them to switch.

The app uses GPS and sophisticated algorithms to track driving distances and inform drivers of the potential cost savings and emission reductions achievable through switching to EVs. The car owners will also receive tailored recommendations on charging requirements based on their individual driving patterns, making the transition to electric vehicles more accessible and convenient.

Prof. Caulfield said: ‘We’re happy to introduce the TRACT EV app as a tool for examining the change-over to electric cars. With the transportation sector being a major contributor to carbon emissions, initiatives like TRACT will highlight pathways to decarbonisation.

‘We believe that by empowering users with actionable insights and recommendations, we can encourage widespread adoption of electric vehicles and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.’

The results from the trials will be extrapolated to the wider population to demonstrate what the potential emissions reduction could be in similar areas and user groups. A cost-effective analysis, looking at wider economic benefits, will also be conducted at several stages of the project to feed into policymakers and inform local and national policy

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