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09/12/2011 01:54 PM     print story email story  

Drivers Want EVs to Have More Range, Even Though They Don't Use It

SustainableBusiness.com News

Drivers are afraid electric vehicles (EVs) can't drive far enough before they have to be charged - one of the biggest barriers to adoption of EVs.

After just three months of driving EVs, people have much less "range anxiety," but despite having to make few changes to their daily driving habits, they still want increased range.

The Technology Strategy Board - the UK's innovation agency - released analysis of data collected from a UK-wide demonstration program involving 340 EVs.

Before the trial, all the personal drivers (as opposed to fleet drivers) said they would be more concerned about reaching their destination with an EV than they would with their normal car. After three months this dropped by 35%.

The drop in range anxiety is partly due to their increased understanding of vehicle capabilities, driving techniques and journey planning, the agency says.

The study's findings - collected from on-board computers and face-to-face surveys - reveal that drivers easily switched to driving an EV, and that most adjusted after just one week.

95% of private drivers found that EVs were no more difficult to use than the conventional cars they usually drove.

Charging data shows EV drivers gained more confidence in their journey distance over the first three months, with an 8% increase in users allowing their batteries to drop below 50% before plugging in.

However, after three months of vehicle use, both personal and fleet drivers still say they need a range of 92 miles and 121 miles respectively, even though actual usage was significantly less. 

Here's the study:

Website: www.innovateuk.org/ourstrategy/innovationplatforms/lowcarbonvehicles.ashx



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