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Edinburgh College EV Test Fleet to Double in Size

Led by Jewel and Esk College, the project launched with four cars last August, based at its campuses in Midlothian and Edinburgh, with one each at Stevenson College Edinburgh and Midlothian Council’s headquarters in Dalkeith. The Scottish Qualifications Authority took delivery of a car shortly afterwards, used by staff at its office in Shawfair.

Six months into the project, a further two cars will be delivered to East Lothian, while Edinburgh’s Telford College and Napier University will receive one each. Three charging points have also been installed by students and staff at Jewel and Esk, which is leading the project as part of the development of its Centre for Excellence in electromobility, formed as it merges with Stevenson and Telford.

Project leader, Prof Steve Tinsley, director of nnovation and enterprise at Jewel & Esk College, said: ‘We were very excited to install the first charging point at the campus in Edinburgh and hope to build and install ten in total.

‘This is a significant research project, but is also allowing students to learn the skills that will be needed when the EV market takes off. That will certainly happen – it is clear that electric vehicles have a significant part to play in our transport future.’

The fleet of Mitsubishi i-MiEV battery-electric city cars is being used by staff at the institutions for short work journeys, with Jewel and Esk students and staff recording information about range, driver feedback and cost. Results so far will be presented at a conference on the 28th of March, hosted by the college, with an aim to boost public confidence and make electric vehicles mainstream in Scotland.

Prof Tariq Muneer, an expert in electric vehicles at Edinburgh Napier University and a speaker at the conference, said: ‘This kind of project is crucial in the future of electric vehicles because the results – both the hard data and comments by users of the vehicles – can help us to identify the challenges that remain, and to figure out how to tackle them.

‘It is real projects like this – tied in with relevant skills – that will help drive the EV agenda forward by building public confidence in the technology.’

Alex Grant

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