Plug-in hybrid vehicle demonstration in Strasbourg garners positive user feedback


Strasbourg, France — (METERING.COM) — May 13, 2011 – After one year of a demonstration of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV), the project partners EDF, Toyota and the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg have announced encouraging initial results.

Launched on April 27, 2010 in Strasbourg, this large-scale demonstration involves Toyota’s PHV as well as a dedicated charging infrastructure for use by public and private partners in and around the city.

Over the year the PHVs involved in the project were intensively used in an urban environment and for longer journeys, with the users averaging an annual mileage of 19,000 km – well above the 13,000 km average for French drivers.

The performance of the vehicles was in line with customer expectations, with fuel savings of 40 percent achieved when compared to an equivalent diesel powered car, with an average trip duration of just short of 13.9 km.

With regards to the charging infrastructure, users are gradually getting accustomed to charging their vehicles, despite being an entirely new habit. On average, charging occurred on a daily basis, and usually took place during peak hours, at 08:00 when the users reach their working place or 19:00 when back at home.

There are several key learning points for the Strasbourg Urban Community. Despite offering free electricity and convenient city parking spots, the usage of the 27 public road and public parking lot charging points was low. User surveys underline the need for a clear communication on the locations of charging points and their operation status.

“EDF R&D has been heavily involved in this experiment and after this first year our vision and strategy for the development of a charging infrastructure is confirmed, but the project also enables us to identify good ways to improve our customer solutions,” said Cédric Lewandowski, EDF director for the Public Sector. “This is why this experiment is extremely positive and essential for EDF in the development of electric mobility.”

Over the past year, 30 partners from various public institutions and private companies have been testing 70 PHVs in Strasbourg. EDF has installed 145 charging points at the private parking of partner companies, at users’ homes, and in public parking lots, while the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg has installed eight charging points along public roads.

After this intermediate stage, EDF, Toyota, and the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg have two more years to improve the system and gather further feedback from users. Investigations will be undertaken to find solutions to encourage off-peak charging time, to test early booking of charging points, and to improve the communication on the locations of public charging points.