Switch EV trial completes 50,000 electric miles

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The 44 electric vehicles in the Switch EV trial have completed 50,000 miles across the North East.

Electric cars, placed with individuals, organisations, local authorities and the regional car club, are being used for every day commuting, the school run, business trips and days out in the country, as part of everyday life by the trial candidates. Switch EV is one of the most significant and far reaching trials of new electric cars and is supported by the Technology Strategy Board, with 5 vehicle manufacturers involved, and it also works with the regional recharging project, Charge Your Car, monitoring the usage and areas of demand for charging points across the North East.

The most recently delivered Peugeot iOns have boosted the number of miles completed, with the Simon Bailes Peugeot supporting the trial with 20 cars. The vehicles are now being spotted across the region, from the rural areas within Northumberland National Park, to the borders with Yorkshire close to Stockton on Tees and in the region’s car club.

Simon Bailes said: “Simon Bailes Peugeot is a proud partner of Plugged-in Places and Switch EV and I am passionate about ensuring that the North East and Peugeot are at the forefront of such an important scheme.

Globally, Peugeot is constantly striving to be a leader in eco-driving and we’ve embraced the development of electric vehicles for many years. It’s now very exciting to see all the plans coming together.”

The Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Iain Malcolm, said: “The Council has made a firm commitment to cut its carbon emissions and is involved in a wide range of work aimed at delivering on that promise.

“We are delighted to be taking part in the Switch EV trial, which offers us the benefit of reducing both carbon emissions and costs.

“Council officers have already travelled several hundred miles in the car and we look forward to the completion of the trial, when the information gathered will be used to plan the future development of electric vehicles and the recharging infrastructure.”

Jon Bird, Head of Sustainability for CE Electric UK, said, “As the company that runs the electricity network by which electric vehicles get recharged, we have a great interest in how electric vehicles are used and recharged. And what better way than by getting first hand experience. Everyone involved has found the iOn fun to drive and keen to test its potential.”

The Switch EV trial is also providing an iOn for the regional car club operator, Commonwheels. The Commonwheels car will be in prime location on Grey Street in central Newcastle, where Commonwheels members can book and use the car for £4.25 per hour.

Paul Balmont, managing director from Commonwheels commented: “Having an electric car in the fleet is a fantastic development for the car club. It gives any member of the public the chance to drive an electric car by joining Commonwheels. The car club provides people with an alternative to owning their own car, with them instead using one of our low emission standard cars or the electric car on a ‘pay as you drive’ basis. For people who don’t drive everyday, it can save them a lot of money. Commonwheels also works for business for their staff travel.”

Switch EV brings together vehicle providers Nissan, Simon Bailes Peugeot, Smith Electric Vehicles, AVID Vehicles Limited, and Liberty Electric Cars, with research and data analysis completed by the Transport Operation Research Group at the University of Newcastle, and with project management by Future Transport Systems. This is one of eight consortia projects taking part in the Technology Strategy Board’s £25m UK-wide Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme, delivered in partnership with the Department for Transport (DFT). The Switch EV trial will see 44 electric cars on the roads of the North East for up to 2 years.

Switch EV is supported by the Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with the Department for Transport, and One North East.