Study highlights pollution and CO2 reduction from EVs
The results were collected as part of the three-year Technology Strategy Board funded SwitchEV study, which examined the driving routes, driver behaviour and charging habits of 200 drivers in North East England using a fleet of 44 Nissan LEAFs. So far, this has logged 71,600 electric vehicle journeys and 19,900 re-charging events.
There are over 500 charging points in the region, including 12 quick chargers capable of topping up an electric vehicle battery to 80% capacity in 20 minutes, which have been used to complete return trips between Newcastle and Edinburgh, 120 miles away. Of the journeys measured, 93% undertaken by participants were under 25 miles – within the range of most electric vehicles, and even some plug-in hybrids.
In addition to CO2 reduction, the report pointed out that electric vehicles were important for reducing air quality. British cities are regularly over the recommended safety limits for atmospheric Nitrogen Dioxide, while a House of Commons report has suggested this reduces life expectancy by eight months, causing 50,000 premature deaths each year.
Phil Blythe, professor of intelligent transport systems at Newcastle University, said: ‘What we’ve demonstrated is that EVs are a viable alternative to combustion engine vehicles for many drivers and would help us tackle rising pollution levels. Local authorities should look at policies that will encourage electric vehicle adoption to reduce traffic related pollution in their urban areas.’