UK to Host the World’s Largest Electric / Hybrid Car Trial

prius-edfThe UK will be hosting the world’s largest trial of electric vehicles to attempt to retain this green and pleasant land!

As many of you gadgety faithful will already know – the capital has been trying to get electrified and have some electric cabs, as well as lining the streets with charging posts.

This £25 million scheme will go national and was unveiled yesterday by Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, and Lord Drayson, the Science Minister.

A total of 340 vehicles will be loaned to people in eight locations around the country, including London, Coventry, Birmingham and Newcastle. Each area’s trial will be run by a consortium made up of car manufacturers, power companies and universities, to test and study hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

Apparently the idea is to test the ‘social aspects’ as well as the technical ones of the eco-friendly motors.

The trial is obviously trying to raise the visibility of electric and hybrid vehicles and change attitudes among much of the public that prefers something with more poke but also tends to kill the planet – ban the Chelsea Chariots then I’ll rethink about buying another classic VeeDub 😉

Drivers will be monitored by researchers from the likes of Oxford Brookes University and Coventry University, while the universities of Strathclyde and Aston will track the cars by satellite.

A range of power companies will be getting involved and will be looking at the way infrastructure must be developed.

Battery company Axeon has teamed up with Peugeot to offer 40 cars in Glasgow, while Toyota and EDF are putting up to 20 plug-in hybrid vehicles here in London. Scottish and Southern Energy is considering putting a 32 amp charging box into homes, potentially juicing up a Mini E in less than half of the 10-hour time taken by a standard socket.

The cars to be tested have to emit less than 50g of CO2 per km.

As well as 40 Mini Es, there’ll be 100 of Mercedes-Benz’ latest Smart Cars buzzing about. Twenty one electric sports cars will also be zipping about courtesy of the EEMS Accelerate consortium, made up of independent manufacturers, including Westfield (ooooo!), Delta Motorsport and Lightning.

Green energy company Ecotricity has given itself a task and reckons it will build a car from scratch that runs purely on juice from wind turbines….. well – everyone needs a hobby! 🙂

The government will be recruiting petrolheads from all walks of life, with different driving requirements.

If you want to check it out you have to contact the consortium in your area. The trials are pencilled to start later this year or early 2010.

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