COLOGNE, Germany – Pure electric commercial vehicles are reliable and have wide potential for urban commercial usage, according to interim findings of the colognE-mobil project.
ColognE-mobil – jointly sponsored by the city of Cologne, RheinEnergie AG, the University of Duisburg-Essen and Ford Motor Company – has since April 2010 been testing a fleet of 10 Transit BEVs and 10 Transit Connect Electrics under real-life conditions in urban areas of Cologne run by several fleet customers in the delivery and service sector. Later this year an additional five Focus Electrics will join the test fleet.
The testing so far has encompassed 50,000km (31,000 miles) of real-world driving – involving the usual day-to-day duties of commercial vehicles, such as carrying cargo and making deliveries in normal urban road conditions. It has also involved approximately 1,500 charges. The interim findings include:
- Commercial EVs have wide potential urban usage. The performance of the Transit BEV and Transit Connect Electric indicates that pure electric commercial vehicles are well suited for distribution, service and delivery in cities
- Driving range was more than adequate. Customers participating in the test typically drove between 25 and 70km per day, with the highest daily average in the fleet averaging about 100km, well within the maximum range of 165km for the Transit BEV and 130km for the Transit Connect Electric
- Approximately 1,500 charging points have been completed so far without issue. Most of this charging activity has taken place across the 12 facilities RheinEnergie installed at the work yards of the participating companies. Additionally, the public charging station installed in Cologne city centre has been used more than 500 times
- The average driving distance between two charging points was 30km, highlighting that the widely discussed “range anxiety” may not be such an issue for typical urban usage
- The project also revealed good news on CO2 emissions. The electric vehicles used in the colognE-mobile project – charged with renewable energy – provided a comparative 90 per cent reduction on CO2 emissions on well-to-wheel emissions
“The colognE-mobil project provides essential data and important feedback from fleet customers on our electric vehicles. While the results are overwhelmingly positive so far, they are still invaluable in helping us and our project partners to enhance ongoing development of e-mobility solutions,” said Roland Krüger, Ford of Europe Project Manager for colognE-mobil.
One of the companies involved in running the electric vehicles in the project praised Ford’s products. Jörn Hansen, Project Manager E-Mobility at RheinEnergie, added: “The Transit Connect is not only a commercial vehicle delivering a substantial cargo space and versatility, it also offers easy, safe and emission-free operation – especially in urban areas – and is fun to drive.”
The University of Duisburg-Essen also conducted a computer simulation on the effects and possibilities of using electric powered passenger cars in the Cologne area. Creating a virtual fleet of 30,000 electric cars, the consumption of electricity reached just 3.7 per cent of the total comparative electricity demand of households in the area. With the average daily driving distance of a typical Cologne resident being 30km, the given range of electric cars is also suitable for everyday use, too.
Market research conducted by the University also showed that Cologne residents would be open to investing 25,000 Euros for a pure electric vehicle; in areas with higher incomes, that amount goes up to 35,000 Euros.