Electric vehicles (EVs) are an attractive and viable means of urban transportation that are here to stay, was the unanimous opinion of automotive manufacturers, academics and drivers taking part in the UK’s largest study of long-term low carbon vehicle use.
The conclusion was drawn by participants and consortium members of CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators) as its 27 month study - involving 110 vehicles and drivers - ended and the data gathered over a million driven kilometres was analysed.
“For more than two years we have seen behavioural trends emerge that prove electric vehicles are an affordable and highly practical transport solution, so whilst the number of EVs currently in use is small we foresee the number growing to somewhere between 5 and 10% of global vehicles sales by 2020,” said Neil Butcher, project leader from co-ordinating CABLED partner Arup.
CABLED data showed a clear trend towards drivers travelling longer journeys over time - indicating increased confidence and reduced range anxiety as familiarity with their vehicle’s capabilities and the location of charging infrastructure developed.
However, most journeys undertaken (75%) lasted less than 20 minutes and only 2% used more than 50% of the battery’s charge - demonstrating that for the majority of drivers, who don’t need to cover longer distances, a return journey to be made without the need for recharging.
In relation to charging EVs, CABLED data showed that the average charge time was between 2-3 hours. This was an average energy transfer of 5kWh per day, costing around 30-80p (depending upon tariff) which is only slightly more energy than a washer dryer.