Electric vehicle drivers enjoy low cost ‘refuelling’ and increased car confidence

Electric vehicle trials

The latest research from the UK’s largest study into long-term low carbon vehicle use reveals:

  • an increase in driver confidence

  • the first real-world analysis on the cost of ‘refuelling’

  • fresh information on charging trends.

Six months into a year-long trial, CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators) drivers are travelling more miles, more frequently and are making longer journeys - indicating increased confidence and notably reduced range anxiety.

Cost conscious prospective EV drivers may also be interested to learn that the cost for those recharging at home has been on average between just 25p and £1 per day.

CABLED is the largest of eight public trials taking place in the UK as part of The Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Ultra Low Carbon demonstrator programme, with the West Midlands consortium contributing 110 of the 350 vehicles trialled on the UKs roads.

The data, analysed by Aston University combines and compares the behaviour patterns of 25 Mitsubishi i-MiEV drivers over two consecutive quarters. Brian Price comments: “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 and 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.

CABLED is one of several Government measures designed to increase the number of low carbon vehicles on Britain’s roads. Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, recently reiterated the current government’s commitment to this work by investing an additional £24 million in to further developing the UK's low carbon vehicle capability.

Reflecting on the findings and the implications for vehicle manufacturers, Mitsubishi Motors’ managing director Lance Bradley added: “The findings indicate that drivers habitually charge their vehicles, whether the battery is half full or nearly empty, in much the same way as a laptop or mobile phone, which will influence the next generation of battery technology that is incorporated into these vehicles.”

The CABLED results show that 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. Averaged out across a week, daily use is roughly the equivalent of doing one load of washing in a washer dryer.

Further details on the CABLED project can be found at www.cabled.org.uk