Fuel types and travel patterns


The Swedish research project ‘Drivmedel och Resmönster’ (Fuel types and travel patterns) started in January 2023 with data collection starting in autumn 2023. The primary aim of this project is to analyse travel behaviour and to see what happens when more people drive electric vehicles. Do travel habits change in any way due to the fuel type used in the car? This knowledge is useful to shape the transport systems of the future, helping to dimension infrastructure for car traffic and other mobility services, to estimate requirements for charging infrastructure, and charging capacity requirements in local energy networks.

Read more about the study below and how you can take part by using the TravelVu app.

About the research project

The number of electric vehicles is increasing rapidly, even though they are still few compared to the total number of cars in Sweden. Do the relatively low maintenance costs for electric cars affect how people choose to travel? Do people who drive electric cars have different travel patterns compared to people who drive plugin hybrids or petrol / diesel cars? Research from Norway showed that an increase in the number of electric cars in Oslo contributed to reduced CO2 emissions, but also increased traffic congestion and reduced public transport use. More knowledge on how electric cars impact travel patterns in Sweden is needed.

This research project will gather data on travel habits over a six-month period through the use of the TravelVu app. Invitation letters will be sent in the autumn of 2023 to approximately 40.000 individuals who have acquired a new vehicle within the last two years. The collaborative research project brings together the three organisations Trivector Traffic, VTI, and Lund University. VTI is the project coordinator and the project is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency.

TravelVu provides an innovative approach to collecting data on how people travel. It relies on tracking an individual’s movements via their mobile phone’s GPS.

By using TravelVu, users can monitor their journeys and daily activities. As the user, you will receive a summary of your trips, including details on distances covered using various modes of transport, on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The data you contribute is extremely valuable in understanding how travel habits evolve as more individuals transition from petrol or diesel vehicles to plugin electric cars.

How to use TravelVu

You can preview what the TravelVu app looks like before downloading it by clicking here (preview / demo in Swedish) [opens in new tab].

The TravelVu app analyses GPS traces from your phone and translates them into an account of your daily trips which can be seen in the app. To ensure an accurate representation of your travel day, it’s important that you (who knows how you actually have travelled) review and – if necessary – change the details shown in the app. Once the travel day matches your actual experiences, please mark it as ”correct”. Only days that you’ve confirmed as correct will be included in the data collection.

In the app, you can do the following:

  1. Specify Activity: Tap on the activity and select the correct one to log your activity accurately. TravelVu will remember your previous choices, making future entries more convenient when you return to the same location.
  2. Change Mode of Transport: Tap on the trip you wish to modify. Here, you can adjust the mode of transport, time, distance, combine or split trips, and refine the route.
  3. Confirm the Day: Mark the description of your daily movements and activities as correct for each respective day.
  4. Menu: In this section, you’ll find a summary of your travel patterns, the background questionnaire, the dates when you’ve collected and reviewed data, and more.

You can preview the app’s interface here (in Swedish) [opens in new tab].

Please note that TravelVu uses GPS to track your movements, which may require slightly more frequent phone charging. The app continuously collects data in the background throughout the data collection period. After the collection period ends, you’ll have 3 days to make any necessary corrections or approvals for your recent trips.

Get an overview of your trips

In TravelVu, you can also track your travel and get an overview of your trips, categorised by time or distance, and organised by day, week, or month. Furthermore, you have the option to download this data.

Want to know more? Please contact Anna.

Anna Clark