A LIVINGSTON-based company has been given a £285,000 research and development funding boost to help speed up its work on a ground-breaking app that aims to improve life for the fast-growing number of electric vehicle (EV) users.

Scottish Enterprise is backing Route Monkey’s creation of an online portal that aims to help drivers get the best out of their battery-powered cars, vans and trucks. The software will combine the ability to plan the best routes for an EV, give turn-by-turn directions via a smartphone navigation app, and identify charging points en route. In a world first, Route Monkey will use Trakm8’s market-leading T10 Micro telematics technology to give EV drivers a raft of real-time journey and battery data, straight to their smartphones. This will enable Route Monkey to accurately recalculate routes and plan in extra recharging time depending on journey conditions.

Motoring journalist Quentin Willson said: “Route Monkey’s game-changing journey-planning software will give more drivers the confidence to choose electric vehicles over their conventionally-powered counterparts and help banish the ‘range anxiety’ monster for good. Route Monkey’s app is what all EV drivers have been waiting for and will change the electric car landscape for the better.”

Route Monkey’s solution will be designed to encourage the uptake of EVs for consumers and smaller fleets in the public and private sectors. It builds on the success of the company’s EVOS solution for larger fleets, which has won accolades including the Business Innovation category at the 2015 Scottish Business Awards.

EVs have finite battery capacity and range, and defined recharge rates, which can challenge their productivity. EVOS uses complex advanced algorithms to calculate the impact of a wide range of factors on an EV’s range capabilities. These include payload, average speed, route topography, weather conditions and driver style.

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown said: “Encouraging and nurturing innovation is a key element of our plan for Scotland’s economy. Route Monkey is a great example of a digital business that is innovating and this project is a world leader.”