BMW launches Evolve, an iPhone app that gives conventional car drivers a taste of how electric-vehicles work. The mobile app is available for iPhone and Android smartphones and it works…without you owning an electric vehicle.

Customers considering an electric-vehicle but are concerned about driving range and battery recharging, now have the opportunity to virtually own and drive an EV. Using the app, each day you start out with 100-miles driving range. Through the GPS chip embedded in your phone, the app tracks your daily driving distance and again, virtually, lets you charge your electric vehicle at destinations or while parked.

At the end of the trip, the Evolve app tallies your trip length and distance, and tells how much time you spent driving, parked, and charging. It will also tell you how much less CO2 emissions you would have added to the environment and how many gallons of gas you could have saved if you were driving an EV, another concern among conventional car drivers.

Overall, Evolve is more of an educational app and a way to accustom ourselves with electric vehicles and their unique way to travel distances. Future improvements are needed, such as tracking the speed you travel with, driving conditions and other factors that impact driving range, but based on feedback, we expect the BMW developers in Palo Alto to enhance functionality.