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Posts Tagged ‘low-carbon cars’

This (below) from Hansard. Interesting, but not necessarily illuminating. Just because an electric vehicle was involved in an accident doesn’t mean that the cause of the accident was related to that ‘electricness’. Worth noting that there are about 28,000,000 cars in the UK. Of these about 100,000 are hybrids and around 2,600 fully electric.

Electric Vehicles

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of persons who were (a) killed, (b) seriously injured and (c) slightly injured by plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles when operating in electric mode in each of the last two years; and if he will make a statement. [124191]

Stephen Hammond: The number of casualties in reported personal injury road accidents known to involve electric and hybrid electric vehicles for the years 2010 and 2011 were as follows:

Electric vehicles

Two deaths, 10 serious injuries, and 59 slight injuries in 2010; and one death, 10 serious injuries and 56 slight injuries in 2011.

Hybrid electric vehicles

10 deaths, 72 serious injuries and 576 slight injuries in 2010; and five deaths, 61 serious injuries and 761 slight injuries in 2011.

In both years the number of casualties known to involve electric or hybrid electric vehicles accounted for less than 0.5% of the total number of casualties in reported road accidents in Britain.

The Department refers to DVLA records to determine whether a vehicle involved in an accident has electric or hybrid electric propulsion. This is only possible for British-registered vehicles where a full and accurate vehicle registration mark (VRM) is contained in the police record. This information exists for around three-quarters of vehicles involved in personal injury accidents. There may therefore have been additional accidents involving electric or hybrid electric vehicles that are registered outside Britain, or where the reported VRM was invalid or missing.

The Department does not hold information on whether a vehicle was operating in electric mode at the time of the accident, nor whether the vehicle is of the ‘plug-in’ type.

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The RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge is perhaps the foremost eco-car run in the world.

It is easy to see why. With more than sixty low and ultra-low carbon entries, ranging from production models available in the showroom to prototypes and concept cars, driving from the coast to the capital watched by hundreds of thousands of people, this is a showcase not just of the vehicles of tomorrow but also of today.

But what do the CO2 emission results and energy use data really tell us?

The RAC Foundation’s report The Green Charge has a few of the answers, which were explained and expanded on at the Royal Automobile Club earlier this week (watch a video of the event here). Looking solely at the data collected over the 57-mile course of 2011 Future Car Challenge:

  • Electric vehicles used the least amount of energy, thanks to the superior efficiency of their power train.
  • Tailpipe emissions were obviously non-existent for EVs, but on a well-to-wheel basis EVs also performed best, followed by plug-in hybrids, conventional hybrids and internal combustion engine cars.
  • However these calculations depend very much on the grid carbon intensity and whether you take a rolling average, or take a figure for a specific time of day (at peak hours extra electricity demand is met through the burning of fossil fuels, whereas at night electricity is more likely to be green).
  • In terms of fuel costs, EVs were the cheapest to run. This is not due to the supposed cheapness of electricity relative to petrol and diesel (which is not the case as they have roughly the same price per kWh) but due to EVs’ superior power train efficiency.
  • An analysis of driving style suggests that average speed over the run had little impact on energy consumption, certainly not as much as variability of speed.

The overall winner was the Gordon Murray Design T.27. It is interesting to note that six out of the top ten most efficient vehicles were small EVs, with an average kerb weight of just under 1,000 kg, 23% less than the 1,300kg average of all participating vehicles.

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