Ministers unveiled the range of electric cars at London’s Guildhall which is planned to be tested in 8 different cities in the UK, in a bid to decrease carbon emissions. The government have put in £25 million for the project to take off, with the Technology Strategy Board to organise a showcase of the vehicles. These are believed to be available in the next 6 to 18 months, with over 340 cars put forward for the test including some notable names such as Mitsubishi electric MiEV and the Mini E.
The test launch is said to begin in Birmingham and Coventry with 110 electric vehicles to be tested in the next 12 months.
In light of the current Carbon Footprint concerns, the test is aimed at promoting the use of electric cars and the improved quality of its usage. The cars used for testing will have a range of 150 miles, as well as a good speed. “We’re putting a variety of cars and systems on the road…” explains the board’s director of innovations programmes, David Bott, to the BBC “…to see how they work for real. Not only will this enable us to see what works, and what doesn’t, but also how people interact with them…” The government have deemed this experiment as necessary for reaching its target of an 80% decrease of carbon emissions by 2050.
The coming-of-age technology promises to see positive results, as the cars will be emitting less than 50g of CO2 per km, which is a dramatic decrease when compared to a normal cars emission figures. The test will begin when the first cars are released on the road by the end of the year, with selected individuals being loaned an electric car for a period of between 6 to 12 months. This will help researchers to collect and collate as much data information as they can.
Selected individuals are chosen based on how often they will be using the car and are most likely to be long distance commuters and families travelling every morning for the school runs. To further raise the profiles of the cars, the individuals will be asked to park their cars in a conspicuous location so people are able to view the vehicle.
Companies such as Nissan and Smith Electric Vehicles are currently developing their own custom built versions of an electric car and are also working on projects installing electric engines into current vehicles chassis (including London style taxi-cabs and Ford cars).