June 23, 2010 - Cenex – the UK's first Center of Excellence for low carbon vehicle technologies – has announced the results of a six month trial of electric passenger cars, which found that after a 6 month test period 72% of drivers would switch their full-time car to electric drive, up from 47% before the trial.
The study’s main objective was to study the integration of electric vehicles into corporate fleets, with an emphasis on efficiency and performance. The results show that much of consumers and fleet managers’ fears around EV’s are due to being uneducated on performance issues, and that driving EV’s for extended periods has a significant effect on calming those fears.
Ten organizations took part, integrating one to four electric two-seater passenger cars into their fleets and allowing qualitative and quantitative data to be collected. Key findings from the trial include:
- 72% of drivers stated they would use an electric vehicle as their regular car compared to 47% before the trial
- 88% of fleet managers felt more positive about incorporating electric vehicles into fleets, despite a lack of public charging infrastructure
- 58% of fleet users felt generally more positive about electric vehicles after the trial
- 'Range anxiety' meant that 93% of journeys started with over 50% battery charge and that maximum journey length was only 25% of the typical vehicle range capability
- Test drivers and fleet users in the 20-30 age group experienced the highest opinion shift in favor of electric vehicle ownership
The trial has shown that strong potential exists for fleet operators to be early adopters of electric vehicles, having gained confidence that EVs can realistically form part of their transport fleet. Due to the return-to‐base operation of fleets, the lack of a public recharging infrastructure is not seen as a barrier to the integration of EVs. But, organizations with dedicated recharging infrastructure rated the charging experience even higher than those without.