It promises a new utopia for motoring, travelling in your own car for less than 2p a mile, and all you need to do is charge it up like you would your phone. Yet there are limited charge points.
The results were revealed yesterday from a national trial backed by the government involving 40 experimental all-electric BMW Minis.
Over 100 drivers had tested the vehicles, travelling on 33,345 journeys which clocked up over 258,105 miles in total, with the average daily commute working out at 29.7 miles.
Between them, the drivers made 33,345 journeys, clocking up 258,105 miles in total.
However the results revealed some damning results, while ‘virtually all re-charging was carried out at home’, more than 80% of the drivers involved in the research said it was ‘essential’ to have a network of public charging points. There isn’t one.
Electric cars have been making headlines after an episode of Top Gear saw Jeremy Clarkson run out of electric in Lincoln whilst test driving the Nissan Leaf. Nissan have responded to the programme by announcing they intend to install an electric car-charging point in the city of Lincoln.
Unfortunately for electric cars and green campaigners, the results are possibly the killing blow after only weeks ago, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond insisted there would not be ‘a charging point on every corner’ and that it would be up to the private sector to help stop electric cars running out of power.
The new Mini E report, produced by academics at Oxford Brooks University, found that 80% of the drivers involved could use the electric cars for their general motoring needs. 82% of the drivers charged their vehicles at home 90% of the time.
But the report also added ominously: ‘The lack of a comprehensive public charging infrastructure in the UK was noted, with four out of five participants (82 per cent) saying they thought it was ‘essential’ that a network of charging points was established.’
72% said they only managed due to having access to charging at home.
Strangely though, the report may not be the death knell originally signalled as a staggering 96% saying they would consider buying an electric car. 33% said they would even consider it in the next year.
Driver enjoyment was a big plus with the electric Mini. Its 201bhp power figure allows for quick acceleration, which the drivers agreed makes it fun to drive..
The test results will be used to help develop the all-new BMW i3 – an electric car due in 2013 – as well as the 2011 BMW ActiveE.
By Ben Malkin
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