Energy Technologies Institute to begin plug-in vehicle studies

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is set to launch three research projects focusing on the future of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the UK. The projects, totalling £4.5 million, will include real-world tests with 40 drivers, 3,000 in-depth consumer surveys and a detailed analysis of the economic and carbon benefit case. The projects will focus particularly on:

  • Consumer uptake and use of plug-in vehicles.
  • Vehicle charging infrastructure and additional network requirements.
  • Economic and environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles.

By investigating a range of possibilities, the research aims to provide definitive evaluations of electricity networks, charging points, payment systems and compatibility for UK users.
On the research project, CEO of the Energy Technologies Institute Dr David Clarke said, “Realising a self-sustaining mass market for plug-in vehicles is a huge challenge. By developing and robustly testing these pathways, we aim to act as a guiding light to support over £300 million of UK investment already committed to infrastructure development and consumer incentives for plug-in vehicles.”

In late February, government announced a £230 million ‘Plug-In Car Grant’ incentive programme that offers motorists 25% off the cost of an electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen-powered car from January 2011. Additionally, the Plugged-In Places investment will see the installation of over 11,000 charging posts in London, Milton Keynes and North East England. There will be a further opportunity, in June 2010, for additional cities and regions to bid for Plugged-In Places funding.

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