Initial findings published from Europe’s largest trial of low carbon vehicles

Initial findings published from Europe’s largest trial of low carbon vehicles

07 Sep 2011

The first analysis has been published of data collected from the Technology Strategy Board’s UK-wide demonstrator programme, involving 340 ultra-low carbon vehicles.

A range of vehicle types, including high performance cars and small city runabouts, were driven by real users making everyday journeys. The findings, collected from on-board computers and face-to-face surveys, reveal that participants in the trial met the challenges of switching to an ultra low carbon vehicle with ease, often getting completely used to the change after just one week. Participants were also impressed with the performance of their ultra low carbon vehicles, and 83 per cent of private drivers said the vehicles met their daily needs.

A driver interviewed by Oxford Brookes University as part of the trial said:

“It’s been really surprising actually. I’d thought it would take a bit more getting used to but apart from little quirks of the car that you know about, it wouldn’t be any different if you were in a different model to your normal car, it’s been quite an easy sort of relaxed transition actually.”

The usage and perception data covers just under 20,000 charging events and over 110,000 individual journeys covering just under 680,000 miles. The data collected from the cars is also underpinned by the findings from perception surveys conducted before the trials and during three months in which drivers were interviewed.

Among the initial findings are:

  • 95 per cent of private drivers found that EVs were no more difficult to use than the car they usually drove.
  • Users made little or no change to their daily driving habits after switching from conventional to low carbon vehicles.
  • On ‘range anxiety,’ prior to the trial 100 per cent of private drivers said they would be more concerned about reaching their destination with an electric vehicle than they would with their normal car. After three months this dropped significantly, by 35 per cent. This drop is in part due to the increased understanding of vehicle capabilities, driving techniques and journey planning.
  • However, after three months of vehicle use, drivers still cite the adequate range they require for daily trips as 92.12 miles (private drivers) and 120.64 miles (fleet drivers) respectively, showing that despite confidence in the vehicles’ ability an increased range is still a key desire.

You can read the initial findings report and find out more about the Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme here.

The full year cross-trial data analysis will be published when the demonstrator programme is complete in mid 2012.

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Last updated on Thursday 08 September 2011 at 13:01

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