smart has been awarded funding, as part of two industry consortia, to help create an electric car future for UK motorists, it was announced yesterday.
With the support of the Technology Strategy Board grant, smart is inviting applicants to take part in two electric drive research trials: one project in London and the South East with smart as lead partner of a larger consortium, and one in the West Midlands alongside a number of other organisations with Ove Arup & Partners as lead. The research is a unique opportunity for users to influence the product development and design process, and will include a focus on domestic recharging behaviours over a 12 month period.
The Technology Strategy Board - the government body that exists to promote business innovation in technology - announced the winners of its Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator competition yesterday. The successful bids bring together car manufacturers, power companies, councils and academic institutions in eight consortia to accelerate the availability of innovative low carbon cars to consumers.
Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz, said: “smart has been conducting real-life trials of 100 electric cars with partner companies across the country since 2007. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and this has been instrumental in our decision to put the car into small series production and bring another 100 cars to the UK early in 2010.“
smart is leading The London and South East consortium, which involves EDF Energy, Greater London Authority, Elektromotive and Westminster City Council. The West Midlands consortia is led by Ove Arup & Partners, and involves smart.
Kelly continued: “We’re delighted that smart has been awarded this funding. It means we can offer electric smarts with state of the art lithium-ion battery technology at affordable monthly lease rates to participants.“
Interested parties can find out more information about the smart electric drive trial, including an application form, by logging onto www.thesmart.co.uk/ed or calling 0808 000 8080
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- The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
- Westminster City Council has the largest on-street car recharging service in the UK - now with 14 points and rising. There will be 20 by end of the year.
As well as saving cash, commuters will also be helping to save the environment by using any of the 14 on-street Juice Points for a small annual fee to recharge their electric motors, on top of getting massive discounts to use an additional 48 charging points in the council\'s car parks.
The latest posts have been installed outside homes, offices and prime locations across Westminster following a successful pilot scheme in Covent Garden.
The total number of 62 recharging points includes 14 on street and 48 points in 13 of Westminster Council’s car parks.
The scheme is part of Westminster Council’s strategy to improve its air quality and is part of its Go Green programme, which sets out the ways in which the City Council intends to lead in creating a more sustainable city.
Users pay an annual £75 fee to cover administration costs to register and use the on-street recharging posts. They will then receive a high quality recharging cable and personalised key, which will trigger a welcome message and start charging.
Westminster introduced its first recharging point at Harley Street Car Park, in the West End, in 1999. The car park now boasts 12 charging points.
- EDF Energy, which is already trialling three electric smarts in its fleet, aims to assess customer behaviour and test out customer propositions, such as customers on smart metering and electric vehicle tariffs. This trial complements EDF Energy’s ongoing work to make clean electric transport more accessible to everyone.
Editors’ Notes about the smart electric drive
- A UK market trial of 100 full electric smart cars started in December 2007 with fleet customers. The trial lasts for four years and customers are leasing the vehicles at a monthly cost of £375.
- The smart electric drive burns no fossil fuels and drivers can expect to achieve the equivalent of around 300 mpg from running the vehicle. It emits no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, unburned hydro-carbons, particulate matter or any harmful substance – in fact it emits nothing at all.
- The smart electric drive has no engine oil, oil filter, spark plugs or exhaust. In fact there are only a handful of moving parts in the driveline, resulting in significantly lower servicing and maintenance costs compared to a petrol driven smart.
- The smart electric drive retains all the safety equipment you would find on a regular smart, so unlike electric quadric-cycles, it has ESP (traction control), ABS brakes, two airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners. It also has the tried and NCAP tested Tridion safety cell from the petrol driven smart.
- The smart ed has its own charger on board. This means you can plug it directly into any UK mains three pin plug socket to recharge and there is a ‘state of charge’ meter on the dash which swivels through 90 degrees.