While there are still those who believe that the electric vehicle market is not here to stay, will never crack the mass market, and will fail once again, the signs are that motorists, governments and businesses across the UK think otherwise. Nissan, in association with the UK Power Networks, has announced an energy monitoring trial using 25 of the new Nissan Leaf 2013 models.
The scheme will eventually take in 50 of the award-winning Nissan Leafs and will be used by private motorists and business users alike. The vehicles will be leased for between one year and two years with each participant agreeing to have their energy usage monitored over the period of the trial.
What will it prove?
One of the main issues going forward, in the minds of electricity providers, is the ability to cope with the expected increase in electric vehicles on the road. Those taking part in the trial have been offered a recharging facility which will be located at a place of their choice that will allow them to recharge as and when required. The idea is that by monitoring the 25 participants this will allow electric companies to monitor their usage and make changes going forward to accommodate the ever-growing numbers of electric vehicles.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Using the Nissan Leaf as an example; what is the current estimation for how long its batteries will last and how much will it cost to replace them? I know such estimates are approximate considering how quickly advances are being made in this area."
This is an area which has been touched upon time and time again in the past but one which many people thought was still some years down the line. However, there is no doubt that the ever-growing popularity of electric vehicles is now hitting home with power companies who are looking at ways to plan ahead for the future to ensure energy capacity is able to keep up with demand.
It will also be interesting to see the long-term efficiency of electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf 2013, because while we are all able to read the press comments from the company, how will these groundbreaking vehicles perform in real life? On the surface this seems like a very simple and very straightforward trial of 25 Nissan Leaf vehicles but under the surface it will provide invaluable data going forward which will be used to plan energy networks for the future.
Perhaps a byproduct of this ongoing trial, which has received significant publicity in the UK, is the fact that more and more electric vehicles will now be on the road in the UK. The fact is that until motorists are comfortable with electric vehicles it is unlikely they will purchase any in the short to medium term. We should see a number of updates along the way, which will highlight the benefits of electric vehicles with regards to energy consumption and value for money.
While sceptics might suggest that these types of trials should have been carried out some time ago, the reality is that electric vehicles are now more popular today than ever before. The industry is certainly beginning to pick up speed, motorists are now more aware of electric vehicles than ever before and if this momentum can be maintained going forward, we could be in for a very interesting few years.