How to Contribute Data to ChargeCar

Contributing your commute data to ChargeCar helps us better understand the driving habits and needs of everyday commutes. You do not need an electric car to contribute to our project. The essential piece of your contribution is the position data recorded by your GPS device. If you have a GPS with a barometric altimeter, this will improve the quality of the data you send us. If you are driving a Toyota RAV4-EV and use the RAV4Info Palm readout, you can enhance your contribution by using one of our scan tools.

I. What you need:
  • A GPS receiver which can export .gpx trip files (most Garmin or TomTom devices, for instance, should be capable of this) or an iPhone (3G or 3GS only). Users wishing to use an iPhone must read the instructions for collecting commute data with an iPhone in addition to the instructions below. Android support is coming soon.
  • A tire gauge (optional, but preferred).
  • Your regular commute.

II. Before you go:
  • Take note of the weather for that day, in particular the temperature, whether it is currently precipitating and if the ground is wet, snowy or dry.
  • Take your tire pressure, if possible.
  • Note the number of passengers in the vehicle (adults and children), and how much cargo is in the car. This will allow you to make an estimate of weight in the car later.
  • Be sure your GPS is turned on.
  • If your GPS can take barometric altitude data, you should enable this feature and turn off any altitude correction capabilities. This will save time during the upload process, and is preferred to our automatic altitude finding process, due to higher precision. (If the correction is left on, the device will automatically correct the altitude measurement at fixed time intervals, and will cause spikes in the altitude data, which is undesirable.) Note that altitude data is not necessary to contribute.

III. When you are finished with your trip:
  • Turn off your GPS when you have reached your destination.

IV. Uploading data:
  • Upload the .gpx file from your GPS device to your computer.
  • Go here to upload your data to our database. Privacy Statement
  • Fill in as many of the fields on the form as you can and click the "Upload" button. Once you have submitted your data, you can now explore and download the results of our power and efficiency analysis, including graphs, spreadsheets and a variety of statistics for your commute. Thank you for contributing to our project!


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