London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — July 9, 2009 – Approximately 340 electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are set to trial on U.K. roads within the next six to eighteen months in eight new projects that are being supported by the government.
The £25 million initiative, which will bring together car manufacturers, power companies, regional development agencies, councils and academic institutions, will operate “real life” trials in eight locations across the country with the intention to accelerate the availability of innovative low carbon cars to consumers.
“We want Britain to be at the forefront of ultra-low carbon automotive technology, blazing a trail for environmentally friendly transportation,” said Transport Secretary Lord Adonis at the recent launch of the initiative. “Our aim is for ultra-low carbon vehicles to be an everyday feature of life on Britain’s roads in less than five years. This is a challenging target and there is still a long way to go. However, if we continuing to work closely with motorists and the industry with initiatives like the demonstrations project, I believe it is achievable.”
The consortia are as follows.
The Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators (CABLED), comprised of 13 organizations led by Arup, will demonstrate 110 road-worthy vehicles to be trialed in the two cities over 12 months, 40 of which will be smart electric vehicles. Charging points will be provided by E.ON with assistance from the city councils of Birmingham and Coventry.
Electric Vehicle Accelerated Development in the North East (EVADINE) will see an initial 35 passenger vehicles developed in the region by a consortium including Newcastle University and the development agency One North East.
The Ford Focus Battery Electric Vehicle project from a consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University, will provide the prototype vehicles and a charging infrastructure in and around the west London borough of Hillingdon during 2010.
The London South East Bid, which since 2007 has been trialing 100 smart electric cars, will bring in more than sixty additional cars in early 2010 to trial across the London southeast and West Midlands regions. Partner organizations are EDF Energy, Greater London Authority, Elektromotive and Westminster City Council.
The MINI E Research Project will trial forty MINI E models over a 12-month period in and around Oxford and the southeast of England. In addition to the BMW Group, the consortium includes Scottish and Southern Energy, responsible for providing the private and public charging points infrastructure, and Oxford Brookes University’s Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre.
The Allied Vehicles Project will bring to production 40 battery electric cars by October 2009, via partners Allied Vehicles, Glasgow City Council, ScottishPower, Axeon and Strathclyde University. The vehicles will be tested in Glasgow, where 40 charging points will be located. The usage data collected will be used by ScottishPower to provide empirical evidence of the charging infrastructure required to support much greater uptake of electric vehicles.
The “Paving the way to full commercialization of plug-in hybrid vehicles” (PHV) initiative awarded to Toyota and EDF Energy will trial of up to 20 Toyota PHEVs. The trials will start in mid 2010, predominately within London for a period of 3 years. Since September 2008, Toyota and EDF Energy has been trialing one PHEV unit in London.
The EEMS Accelerate project will put 21 cutting edge high specification electric sports cars on the road for 12 months, including the world’s first wind-powered cars charged via energy derived from wind turbines. The consortium is led by energy, climate change and data management consultancy AEA.
The information gained from this project is expected to make an important contribution to the future plans of vehicle manufacturers and their partners to develop low carbon vehicles for the mass market.
The project is part of the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform from the Technology Strategy Board, a business-led executive non departmental public body established by the government to promote and support research, development and exploitation of technology and innovation for the benefit of U.K. business.