The University of California at Davis has a long history of understanding plug-in vehicles and how people use plug-ins. After all, this is a school with a dedicated Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Research Center. The latest automaker to benefit from the UCD team is BMW, which is asking drivers of the all-electric MINI E how they use and what they think about their cars. The good news is that the findings of the year-long study will be made available to the public and the school believes it will "influence understanding of the future role of electric vehicles for many stakeholders, including electric utilities, governments and automakers." As a public university, it is fitting that UCD publish the results for all to see.
During the next year, UCD will ask 50 volunteer MINI E drivers questions, both online and in interviews, and will also collect data through travel diaries. The school will use a "global research methodology" that is also being used in the MINI E tests in Europe to collect and analyze the data.