Electric car drivers take longer trips than petrol-heads

A new study claims that drivers of electric vehicles make longer journeys daily than those in diesel or petrol cars. The study, conducted by BMW claims to be the most in-depth ever held into the use of electric vehicles in today’s world. BMW conducted the trial over the space of 12 months and they say that they have discovered that the driving behaviours of the 138 test subjects didn’t really alter much when they swapped their convention engine for an electric one.

40 electric Minis each had an average daily mileage of 29.7, whilst the control cars, which were a mix of BMW 116i’s and Mini Coopers, recorded an average of 26.5 miles in a day. 4/5 of the drivers who participated said that they could easily undertake 80% of their journeys in the electric Mini E, which ties in with the UK’s average daily drive of 25 miles.

The fleet participants who had exchanged their usual motors for the electric mini reported that it was fine for around 70% of the journeys that they made during their working day, while the success rate of the pool cars was even higher, with 80-90% of their regular tripe being achievable. Single trips in the electric cars were also higher than the national average, at 9.5 miles compared to 7, and one driver clocked up nearly 8000 miles in 6 months.

Despite those in the electric cars travelling for nearly 30 miles a day, they only had to recharge their electric vehicles 2-3 times a week. Over 80% recharged them at home, taking advantage of cheap overnight energy tariffs which encourage drivers to plug them in when the demand is at its lowest and there is a greater proportion of renewable energy in the grid. Over 6 months the cost averages £60, which isn’t even 2p a mile.

There was a difference of opinion over charging however, although 9/10 said that recharging their vehicle fitted well into their daily routine, 82% said that it was essential that a proper network of charging points be established. This infrastructure has already been rejected by the government; their charging strategy claims that this would be  uneconomic.

BMW say that the results of their trials reveal that 96% of the participants would seriously consider purchasing an electric car now that they have tried one out, while 50% would be happy to pay a 1/3 more for one. Just less that 1/3 said they would buy one within a year, while 55% will more than likely wait for over 2 years. BMW are using the data to help develop their first electric vehicle the BMW i3, set to launch in 2013.