Fleet News

Study confirms future of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles recharged from the national grid could potentially cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% compared to vehicles powered by carbon-based fuels, new research has found.

The study by Arup and Cenex on behalf of the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Transport, also found that contrary to common perception, the UK electricity grid has sufficient generating capacity to cope with a greater uptake of electrified vehicles.

"Beyond the long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions created by switching to electric vehicles, it also makes sense to try to use the surplus capacity in the grid during off-peak times,” said Arup's director of advanced technology and research, Neil Ridley.

"And one of the keys to an improved uptake of electric and hybrid cars will be the collaboration between stakeholders including manufacturers, local authorities and energy providers to address issues related to standards for charging, consumer education and the development and deployment of new technologies."

The news follows confirmation of the largest public funding of any initiative aimed at developing technology within the automotive industry, with the government pledging £100 million to develop low carbon vehicles in the UK and private companies pledging a further £100 million.

A raft of major projects have since been announced, all aimed at rapidly advancing low-carbon vehicle technology and developing a mass market for these vehicles.

One such project will see 10 public sector fleets trial low-carbon vans in real-world fleet conditions.
Adrian Vinsome, programme manager for the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme, which is overseeing the project, said: “We recognised the broad desire among local authorities to reduce carbon emissions from their sizeable fleets and improve operational efficiency.”

Alongside this, a new £10 million initiative has also been announced that will see 100 low-carbon demonstration vehicles trialled by fleets across the country.

It is expected that these vehicles will be on the road within 12 months.

Further information can be found on the Technology Strategy Board’s site: www.innovateuk.org

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