Best Practices for Electric Vehicle Cost Calculator User Interfaces

One of the potential consumer benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) is lower fuel and maintenance costs compared to internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). Consumers tend to have difficulty recognizing these cost benefits, however, because of the complexity of comparing gasoline and electricity prices, and comparing long-term operating savings with EV purchase premiums. Online vehicle cost calculators may help consumers navigate this complexity by providing tailored cost estimates and enabling comparisons across vehicles. Of the several vehicle cost calculators available online, functionalities range widely. No existing research establishes the functionalities and features that determine the usefulness of vehicle cost calculators in promoting EV adoption. Researchers at the University of California, Davis drew upon a systematic review of vehicle cost calculators and findings from multiple user experience studies to articulate best practices for the user interface design of effective vehicle cost calculators. The researchers categorized best practices as those related to the vehicle cost calculator use cases, outputs, user experience, and user inputs.