New UK Study Finds Electric Vehicles Are Greener

This really won’t come to any surprise to most people, but electric vehicles are better for the environment and overall human health. To back up this obvious claim, a three-year research project was conducted in the northeast of England by Newcastle University.

Electric vehicles a 'viable transport option' in the UK


The study was funded in part by the UK Technology Strategy Board. The Switch EV project took 44 participants who used private, public, and fleet-owned electric vehicles. The logging and driving habits were recorded to get a better understanding of the impact, if any, electric cars had on cities.

Over the course of three years, 71,600 individual electric car trips were recorded with a total of 403,00 miles. Over 19,900 individual recharging events were logged using on-board data-logging equipment placed inside each participant’s electric car and also at public charging stations.

The study indicates that not only could EVs reduce transport-related pollution in our cities, but “they also produce less CO2 per mile than a combustion engine, even when the pollution associated with electricity generation at power stations is taken into account,” The Journal summarizes.

The UK is also suffering from nitrogen oxides in many of its larger cities, which are currently above the safe levels. Electric vehicles could also reduce the presence of the nitrogen oxides and the carbon dioxide found from gas-fired engines.

One of the interesting findings researchers at the University of Newcastle found was that 93% of all car journeys made during the study were under 25 miles in length, which would be no problem for a charged electric vehicle.

According to Dr Yvonne Huebner from the University of Newcastle:

We’ve shown that 93 percent of all car journeys are less than 25 miles. This means that an EV would easily fit into our current lifestyles without any changes to our normal driving habits. For longer journeys we might have to use a second car or use alternative modes of transport.

During the study participants that wanted to extend their range could simply use DC rapid charging to assist them on longer trips of several hundred miles or more.

“In the North East we have also introduced 12 ‘quick charge’ points which will charge the battery from 0% to 80% per cent in 20 minutes. These were used by our volunteers to make the journey from Newcastle to Edinburgh and back.”

The study concluded that electric vehicles are better for city infrastructure and the overall well-being of the population. Maybe after having proof from the three-year project, more cities and municipalities around the world will examine the possibilities of adopting EV policies to benefit their communities.

Photo Credit: Toyota UK / / CC BY-NC-ND

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