- Most journeys undertaken (77 percent) lasted less than 20 minutes and only two percent used more than 50 percent of the battery, enabling a return journey to be made without the need for recharging in the majority of cases.
- In regards to charging, most electric vehicle drivers replenish their battery when convenient, with data showing the vehicles were parked 97.2 percent of the time, allowing ample opportunity to plug in.
- The most popular point at which drivers commenced charging was when the battery had 81 to 87 percent of its charge remaining. Charging habitually takes place upon reaching a destination.
- The average charge time was two to three hours, with an energy transfer of 6kWh.
- Peaks for charging were observed from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 6 to 7 p.m. Another peak was seen after 11 p.m. when CABLED participants used timers to take advantage of off-peak rates.
- Typical users only need to recharge every two to three days and do so either at home or at work more than 85 percent of the time.
[Source: Easier, CABLED]
The latest research from the UK‟s largest study into long-term low carbon vehicle use
an increase in driver confidence
the first real-world analysis on the cost of „refuelling‟
fresh information on charging trends
Six months into a year-long trial, CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission
Demonstrators) drivers are travelling more miles, more frequently and are making longer
journeys1 - indicating increased confidence and notably reduced range anxiety.
Cost conscious prospective EV drivers may also be interested to learn that the cost for those
recharging at home has been on average between just 25p and £1 per day.
CABLED is the largest of eight public trials taking place in the UK as part of The Technology
Strategy Board‟s £25m Ultra Low Carbon demonstrator programme, with the West Midlands
consortium contributing 110 of the 350 vehicles trialled on the UKs roads.
The data2, analysed by Aston University combines and compares the behaviour patterns of
25 Mitsubishi i-MiEV drivers over two consecutive quarters. Brian Price, Aston University
comments: "Collecting real-world usage of electric vehicles (EV) through our satellite
mapping and analysis has been essential in understanding actual demands and
requirements of EV vehicles for consumers. The journey data gathered is already showing
that the current generation of ultra-low carbon vehicles are cheap to run as well as being
comparable to petrol & diesel vehicles for speed, ease of use and daily journey distance;
using less than 30% of total charge in typical daily use. The next phase of the study will
allow us to map out an optimal charging point network to further extend range and improve
the convenience of electric cars.
Project Leader Neil Butcher from the co-ordinating partner Arup explains the data presents a
positive outlook for the mass take-up of EVs. "The phenomenon known as „range anxiety‟ -
concern about battery life when undertaking long journeys - is falling as drivers become
more familiar with their vehicles. The low costs of „refuelling‟ in relatively short periods of
time reinforce this. While there are technical challenges ahead - extending vehicle range and
preparing for increased demands on the national grid - our results show that even current
vehicles are more than capable of meeting users‟ day-to-day needs3."
CABLED is one of several Government measures designed to increase the number of low
carbon vehicles on Britain‟s roads. Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, recently reiterated
the current government‟s commitment to this work by investing an additional £24 million in to
further developing the UK's low carbon vehicle capability.
Reflecting on the findings and the implications for vehicle manufacturers, Mitsubishi Motors‟
managing director Lance Bradley added: "Finding that drivers quickly adapt to electric
vehicles is good news for the car industry, which is currently investing heavily in the
development of low carbon vehicle technologies.
"The findings indicate that drivers habitually charge their vehicles, whether the battery is half
full or nearly empty, in much the same way as a laptop or mobile phone, which will influence
the next generation of battery technology that is incorporated into these vehicles."
The CABLED results show that the average charge time per charge is just less than two
hours, with a typical energy transfer of 4-8kWh costing between 40p and £1 depending on
the tariff and providing sufficient charge for 20-40 miles of travel. Averaged out across a
week, daily use is roughly the equivalent of doing one load of washing in a washer dryer.
Charging data such as this helps inform the development of energy infrastructure and Smart
Grid technology, in-line with driver needs, as Charles Bradshaw-Smith, head of group EMobility
R&D at E.ON, says: "Meters installed at each user‟s home are giving us invaluable
information on behavioural trends.
"The most popular time to charge vehicles is overnight but, since most journeys are relatively
short, five average length journeys can be completed on one charge. This is evidence to
support the need for intelligent charging technology that will allow EVs to interact with the
distribution grid – an area in which E.ON is researching into.
"The goal is to allow drivers to take advantage of low cost energy whilst enabling EVs to both
draw and feed into the grid in order to smooth demand peaks and troughs."
In summary Arup‟s Neil Butcher said: "We learn more with each fresh set of data and as the
rest of the 110 CABLED drivers take to the roads in coming months, our findings will form
part of the largest study of low carbon vehicle use ever compiled. Indications of driver
confidence will also be a lot clearer following the publication of the third and fourth quarter
results, which will allow us to look at the influence of seasonal changes on driver
Further details on the CABLED project can be found at www.cabled.org.uk