UK trial of electric cars proves they are greener

29 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи UK trial of electric cars proves they are greener отключены
Nissan's Greener Electric Cars

UK trial of electric cars proves they are greener

Electric cars are greener and could help us cut not only carbon emissions but levels of nitrogen dioxide emissions which are contributing to reduced life expectancy in our towns and cities.

Data gathered and analysed by transport experts at Newcastle University shows that daytime air pollution levels in our towns and cities regularly exceed the Government’s recommended 40?g m-3 (21 parts per billion) for prolonged periods — putting people’s health at risk.

But according to a major new three year study by the university, electric cars could play a key role in driving down this air pollution, which is estimated to be responsible for around 1.3 million deaths every year. In the UK alone, a 2011 House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Report highlighted that poor air quality reduces life expectancy in the UK by around eight months and is responsible for around 50,000 premature deaths every year.

Switching to EVs

Analysis of cars used as part of the Switch EV trial in the North East of England shows that electric vehicles produce less CO 2 per km than a combustion engine, even when the pollution associated with electricity generation at power stations is taken into account.

Using in-vehicle loggers, details such as distance travelled, route, driving behaviour and recharging times have been recorded and analysed for over 71,600 electric vehicle journeys and 19,900 re-charging events.

The researchers found that for all the electric vehicles in the study, their carbon efficiency was much better than an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. An average new build ICE produces around 140g CO 2 /kg (not counting CO 2 produced during fuel production / transport, which adds around 15 per cent to the total emissions), while the average carbon output for the EVs used in the trial was 85g CO 2 /kg (based on a UK electricity grid mix).

Charging during off-peak times — when less carbon intensive and renewable energy sources are being used to power the grid — together with more efficient driver behaviour would reduce this carbon output even further.

Nissan's Greener Electric Cars

And because electric vehicles produce zero exhaust gases, introducing more of them to our cities’ roads would drive down pollution in the most congested — and often highly populated — areas, such as city centres and around schools.

Phil Blythe, Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems at Newcastle University, said: This has been a huge undertaking over the past three years, involving almost 200 volunteer drivers from across the North East to help us build up the first true picture of what a low carbon transport system might look like in the future.

And what we’ve demonstrated is that EVs are a viable alternative to combustion engine vehicles for many drivers and would help us tackle rising pollution levels. Local authorities should look at policies that will encourage electric vehicle adoption to reduce traffic related pollution in their urban areas.

Saving emissions

Funded by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, the three-year investigation is part of a major ?10.7million trial investigating the impact that electric vehicles could have on the environment, our transport systems and driver behaviour.

Since its launch in November 2010, the SwitchEV project has involved almost 200 drivers from across the North East region making over 71,600 trips. The 44 EVs involved in the trial, including models of the Nissan LEAF, Avid CUE-V, Smith Electric Vehicles’ Edison van, Liberty E-Range and Peugeot iON, have travelled a total of 403,000 miles — equivalent to driving around the world 16 times — have been charged 19,900 times and have saved 76,000 kg CO 2 being released into the atmosphere.

Nissan's Greener Electric Cars

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