Largest electric vehicle trial reveals full year findings

Article by Christian A., on July 14, 2011

Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators (CABLED) has gathered robust data that can be used to support future decisions related to transport and infrastructure planning. CABLED is the biggest of eight public trials taking part in The Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator program.

The data reveals that although there is initial skepticism on the capability of the electric vehicles as well as concerns on range anxiety, they are more than able to meet the drivers’ needs which require efficient urban transportation.

The collected data were taken from 25 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs and 20 smart fortwo electric drives during the course of the trial. It was determined that 77% of the journeys undertaken lasted less than 20 minutes while only 2% used more than 50% of the battery, which enables a return journey to be made without having to recharge in the majority of cases.

The data also revealed a trend towards drivers traveling longer journeys over time. This indicates an increased confidence and reduced range anxiety. Project Leader Neil Butcher from coordinating CABLED partner Arup commented that the data reveal a positive perception for the EVs. He said that the findings form part of the largest study of low carbon vehicle utilization ever compiled.

He added that while the study continues, it is already clear that EVs provide a viable, practical transport solution to the urban areas, and the way our offices, homes and public spaces evolve to cater both users’ needs and the rapid technology development surrounding the vehicles should be considered.

In relation to charging behavior, the CABLED data clearly reveals that EV users are not motivated to replenish their car’s battery by reaching a particular point of depletion.

Instead, they are driven by convenience and with data showing the vehicles are parked for 97.2% of the time, or 23.3 hours each day, it is evident that there is sufficient opportunity for them to be plugged-in.

The most popular point at which people will start to recharge the batteries is when there is from 81% to 87% of the charge left. With the majority of journeys using less than 2kWh of power, or approximately 12% of charge, the behavior indicates that charging habitually occurs upon getting to a destination.

Topics: electric car

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