Car manufacturer Ford has developed an algorithm that could boost electric vehicle use by locating the best places to install charging stations.
Many motorists are deterred from buying an electric vehicle by the fear there won’t be enough charging stations.
The project saw 160 vans in Greater London area fitted with a device to record journey data over an eight-month period, logging more than 15,000 days of vehicle use and over 500 million points of data.
This was then analysed by the Ford Global Data Insight & Analytics team, in order to work out where charging-points would be most useful to fleet operators.
The aim was to find points where vehicles were stopping in the course of routine movements, to avoid the need for making separate journeys to recharge.
The scientists concluded that access to on-the-go charging could be “significantly improved” through a relatively small number of strategically positioned rapid-charging stations.
John Scott, project lead, City Data Solutions, Ford Mobility said: “Electrification changes the way we drive – and refuel – our vehicles.
“We realise that charging time and behaviour are fundamentally different for electric vehicles compared with traditional models, where refilling with petrol or diesel may take only five minutes.
“In locating these additional charging points, we’ve attempted to take into account regular driving and stopping patterns so that topping up slots into drivers’ regular day-to-day activities.
“Being able to harness, analyse and leverage the huge amounts of data that is available through existing vehicle use can make a real difference to how easy we find it to get about in the cities of the future.”
The best and worst places in the UK to find EV charging stations have been revealed by green energy provider Tonik Energy.
It found that Sunderland is the best-equipped area in the country, with an electric-car charging point for every 1,460 licence holders.
Sunderland was closely followed by Milton Keynes, with 220 charging points for its 327,225 licensed drivers, with Dundee securing third place overall with a total of 98 charging points.
At the other end of the table, Portsmouth is by far the worst prepared city with just 16 public chargers serving 516,602 licensed drivers. Shrewsbury was second-worst with a single charging point for every 20,698 drivers, followed by Derby with 17,037 licence holders per public charger.
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