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autoviva2012-11-23 14:19:00

Drivers more confident on electric cars and enjoying low refueling costs

Drivers more confident on electric cars and enjoying low refueling costs

CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators) have published the second results of a UK-wide electric and low carbon vehicle testing project. The work now being published is a report of six months into the year-long trial of 25 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicles).

The major conclusions taken out from this research are that there is an increase of confidence from drivers towards the electric vehicles, the first real-world analysis on the cost of ‘refuelling’ and more information on charging trends.

After the first six-months of the one year-long trial, the study shows that CABLED drivers are feeling more confidence on their electric vehicles and are making more frequent and longer journeys, with a notably reduced range anxiety.

For those who are still skeptical about the costs of the recharging at home, the study reveals that this cost is on average between 25p and £1 per day.

The data now shown by this study has been gathered by Aston University and it combines and compares the behaviour patterns of 25 Mitsubishi i-MiEV drivers over two consecutive quarters.

Brian Price, from the Aston University states that “Collecting real-world usage of electric vehicles (EV) through our satellite mapping and analysis has been essential in understanding actual demands and requirements of EV vehicles for consumers. The journey data gathered is already showing that the current generation of ultra-low carbon vehicles are cheap to run as well as being comparable to petrol & diesel vehicles for speed, ease of use and daily journey distance; using less than 30% of total charge in typical daily use. The next phase of the study will allow us to map out an optimal charging point network to further extend range and improve the convenience of electric cars.

Project Leader Neil Butcher from the co-ordinating partner Arup explains that as drivers become more familiar with the electric cars “phenomenon known as ‘range anxiety’ - concern about battery life when undertaking long journeys” tends to fall. This is also reinforced by the low costs of ‘refuelling’ in relatively short periods of time.

The study also helps to identify the technical challenges to come ahead such as the extending vehicle range and preparing for increased demands on the national grid.

Reflecting on the findings and the implications for vehicle manufacturers, Mitsubishi Motors’ managing director Lance Bradley added: “Finding that drivers quickly adapt to electric vehicles is good news for the car industry, which is currently investing heavily in the development of low carbon vehicle technologies.”

The results of the study also indicate that drivers have the habit of charging their car battery whether it is half full or nearly empty, much like they do with their laptops or mobile phone. This should also “influence the next generation of battery technology that is incorporated into these vehicles,” says Bradley.

According to the CABLED results the average charge time per charge is just less than two hours, with a typical energy transfer of 4-8kWh costing between 40p and £1 depending on the tariff and providing sufficient charge for 20-40 miles of travel. The costs of the daily use can be compared to one load of washing in a washer dryer.

As for the charging habits the results show that the most popular time to charge is overnight.

In summary Arup’s Neil Butcher said: “We learn more with each fresh set of data and as the rest of the 110 CABLED drivers take to the roads in coming months, our findings will form part of the largest study of low carbon vehicle use ever compiled. Indications of driver confidence will also be a lot clearer following the publication of the third and fourth quarter results, which will allow us to look at the influence of seasonal changes on driver behaviour.”

Battery Type
Top Speed
81 mph
Maximum power
49 hp
$ 47.314
* based on United Kingdom prices
annual ownership cost
$ 328




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