EV infrastructure: Source Edinburgh project “at the discussion stage”

August 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Source London scheme, a public-private partnership to establish electric vehicle charging points across the capital, could soon have a Scottish equivalent: talks are underway about Source Edinburgh, a collaboration which could be developed from the electric vehicle research just started at  Jewel and Esk College (pictured). The college, which has campuses near Musselburgh and in Dalkeith, is already working with Siemens, a partner in Source London, on a project involving the Edinburgh trams and other forms of transport in the area.

The EV research programme is collecting both quantitative data and subjective feedback from a 12-month trial in partnership with Midlothian Council; assessing four Mitsubishi i-MiEVs used by staff members, it aims to provide a comprehensive picture of real-life EV costs, practicalities and user needs, as well as informing policy-makers on infrastructure demands.

The college will be holding workshops and seminars for businesses, fleets and individuals interested in going electric, and making its findings available to the public; the research will also feed into the training of technicians, engineers and other auto industry workers studying at the college, including qualified mechanics returning for top-up training. Professor Steve Tinsley, Director of Innovation and Enterprise, says that the intention is to extend the initial 12-month trial into nationwide research involving universities and colleges in Dundee, Angus, Stirling and Perth, to give a national picture of the use of EVs in more rural areas and the necessary infrastructure to support them. And ultimately, “the intention is, though the conversation is only just starting with Edinburgh Council, to look at a Source Edinburgh project”, he says.

“It’s only at the discussion stage at the moment, but the intention is, that with all this information that we’re gathering, and the reason for mapping charging points as they are at the moment, is to take a view on Source Edinburgh as a project, and look at what we would need in terms of additional charging points and who would supply them”, he explains.

At the end of the initial 12-month trial, Prof. Tinsley says “we would hope to have data that will give us a very good understanding of an electric vehicle… And to have enough information to say ‘right, are we now in a position to take it to the next level, to implement Source Edinburgh?’ because we have enough knowledge around the region to introduce it (electric vehicles) as another part of a transport solution for Scotland.”

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