Notes on GPS, your suitability and how the app works

  • The CleanCar smartphone app uses GPS data to  analyse how you use your vehicle. It develops a set of journey profiles which build into a comprehensive vehicle use profile. It then compares your use profile against electric vehicles (EVs) currently on the market to see which may be suited to your needs.
  • The app records your journeys automatically. It recognises when you are starting a journey and starts to record that trip.
  • At the moment, the app cannot distinguish between different vehicles you may use. So if you regularly use multiple vehicles, the app will record all the journeys and assume they relate to the same vehicle. We have a scheduled app update that will address this, but for now, the app is best used in just one vehicle.
  • The app may record trips that you take in taxis or buses. Please check the app if you are in a taxi and press ‘stop recording’, or delete the trip later from your user profile
  • Your experience of the app may differ depending on phone type or operating system. When it comes to recognising journeys all modern phones will work (ios and Android). However, Android may be a little more accurate; it seems to notice a trip has started before an Apple phone does.
  • Occasionally, you may notice there are some slight inaccuracies in the journeys captured. For example, the trip might start 200 meters down the road, or there is a straight line on the map which shows missing data. This is nothing to worry about and is a common issue with all GPS apps.  Our EV suitability algorithms adjust for occasional inaccuracies and it will not impact the overall suitability report.
  • If you do several short trips close together, the app may combine them into one journey. For ease of use, we combine  journeys with a time interval of less than 20 minutes. This will have no impact on your suitability report.
  • The app is designed to be ‘always on’ (please select this option). This means the app continually works in the background. This is handy as it  should automatically start to record your journeys without you having to do anything. However, this may impact your phone’s battery life.
  • If you need to reboot your phone, please remember to turn the app back on.
  • While our suitability algorithms will do their best to work out which EV suits your needs, there are a few things to remember
    • Our suitability report will show you EVs that we think may be suitable for you. Although we aim to make this as accurate as possible there are several complex factors involved and sometimes we might get it wrong. You should always use your own judgement, research and common sense before you purchase a new vehicle. CleanCar is there to help with your decision making, but our recommendations should not be seen as infallible.
    • The EVs we recommend are based on a profile of all journeys captured by the app. Please note, these could include journeys that are not yours such as those when you are a passenger, make sure the profile reflects your usage.

Notes on Vehicles

If you think an EV is missing from your profile of suitable vehicles it could be for a number of reasons:

    • Your suitability profile does not fit with the range or charging restrictions for that EV.
    • The EV might be brand new, and therefore, not in our database. We only show vehicles that are currently available for sale in the UK market where the costs are understood.  Check back again later.
    • The EV may be non-current, in other words, you may still be able to buy it but you cannot order a new vehicle to the same spec from the factory in your country.

Vehicle images.  Sometimes we can show the details of a vehicle excluding the picture; this could be because the vehicle is new and the image is not yet available.

Vehicle Reg look-up: When you first register you will enter your vehicle registration number. This allows us to see your current vehicle and generate a comparison with a new equivalent of your current vehicle against a new EV.  However, there are reasons why this may not work:

    • Sometimes the Reg lookup may not work, this could be for a number of reasons, for example, the vehicle could be too new.  If that happens, please enter your vehicle Reg using the manual dropdown.
    • There may be no new equivalent, for example, if you currently drive a Ford Escort, there is no modern equivalent to that vehicle.  Our system will still record the fact you have a Ford Escort but no vehicle will appear in the vehicle savings comparison, and you will have to select a vehicle using the drop down menu for comparison.

The TCO analysis:  TCO is a way of showing you the true costs of running a vehicle, it considers all factors such as purchase price, future sale price, running costs such as fuel, maintenance, service, tax etc. It is the most accurate way of understanding what an internal combustion engine vehicle costs when compared to an EV.  Consider the following, though:

    • The TCO is based on standard information such as standard purchase price and sales price.  For example, if you are a fleet and have managed to negotiate a significant discount on a specific vehicle, we cannot factor this into our calculations
    • The TCO is based on your user profile and assumes continued similar use patterns. For example, if we capture 1,000 miles in a month then the TCO will look at costs for 24,000 miles in two years, 36,000 miles in three years.
    • The TCO is a broad estimate based on average use patterns and industry recognised costs. It may not necessarily fit your unique requirements, especially if your vehicle use patterns are erratic. 

Forgotten my password

If you have forgotten your password. No need to worry. Simply go to the login page of and click on the link “forgot my password”, then enter your email, click “reset password” and await an email to reset your password. 

Forgotten user ID 

Please use your company email address.

How Does The Device Work?

The CleanCar device is an incredibly smart piece of kit, but for this FAQ, we will keep it simple.

  • The CleanCar device has been designed to record GPS coordinates of your location while you are driving
  • It will do this every 10 seconds or 100 metres or 1.25-degree change in direction so on a winding road it takes more coordinates and on a straight one less.
  • The device saves these coordinates and every few minutes it connects to the mobile network via an onboard sim and uploads these to the CleanCar portal. It will store around ten days of driving if for any reason there is no signal.
  • Once we receive the data, we store it up, and while most people are asleep in the early morning, our servers and algorithms convert it into journeys and statistics.
  • The following day you will be able to log in see your stats.
  • CleanCar aims to help users like you to make the switch from your internal combustion engine to an electric vehicle

Is CleanCar New?

No, it’s not. The CleanCar system has been helping fleet operators switch to EVs for about five years. However, the latest version of CleanCar, the one you are using is brand new.  This version has been rebuilt from the ground up to help individual users as opposed to fleets.  

Is the CleanCar app finished?

No. The current version is an early production release.  Please be kind, if you think something is not quite right or the user experience could be better, please get in touch, we’ve tried our best to make it a great system, but it will improve with the help and feedback of our users

Although we test the system hard, it’s not until users get their hands on it that we really start to learn.  Please let us know how you think it could improve or spot an issue that needs fixing. please email us at

GPS Drift Overview

What is GPS Drift

GPS Drift is a technical characteristic that typically occurs when the tracker is stationary and in environments where multi-path reception is likely (which is just about anywhere, aside from being in the middle of the desert). In a multi-path environment, the high-sensitivity receiver “sees” more than one signal from a single satellite. This occurs because the signal is reflected from obstructions such as houses, buildings, walls, vehicles, hills, tree cover, and so forth. The signals arrive at the receiver at slightly different times and depending on which signal the receiver chooses to believe for any given sample, the distance from the satellite also differs. Multiply this behaviour by several satellites, then factor it into the overall position calculation, and the net result is that the receiver perceives abrupt shifts in position. Sometimes these can be significant — say 40 or 50 feet.

Software in the receiver tries to smooth this out. Generally speaking, it does a better job of this when the tracker is moving. This is because your true change in position per unit time is much larger than the random shifts caused by a multi-path reception.  Slow moving traffic and its “stop-start” nature, especially in built-up areas, amplify drift as each “stop” is a stationary point for the receiver to calculate.

What does this mean?

It means that occasionally if say a vehicle is stationary the CleanCar system can give a false positive, where the drifting coordinates look like a feasible trip.  We do all we can to remove these but it is possible you may find them from time to time.  If you find one, delete it.