The CABLED project ran from 2009 to June 2012. It showcased electric cars across Birmingham and Coventry, making ultra-low-carbon vehicles available to real users and collected data on everyday use. This was part of a UK-wide demonstrator programme, brought together by the Technology Strategy Board and involving a total of 340 vehicles, in which the West Midlands played a major role.
The widespread uptake of electric vehicles will significantly reduce carbon emissions, local air pollution and noise, however issues such as purchase price and range anxiety over longer journeys remain to be resolved before mass deployment.
Low carbon vehicle usage data
The CABLED project collected data from the vehicles to understand how they were used and assist in the planning of the further expansion of the supporting infrastructure.
Arup led the CABLED project, managed the consortium and provided two Citroen C1 EV'ies with induction charging systems developed by HaloIPT.
Compatibility and cooperation
Successful electric vehicle deployment needs absolute compatibility between the cars and the charging infrastructure. This requires close cooperation between organisations that have not historically needed to work together.
By bringing car manufacturers, the electricity supplier, the local councils and academics into one consortium, the CABLED project offered a seamless experience for the EV driver, as will be required if electric vehicles are to be successful in the future.
110 ultra-low-carbon vehicles were trialled across Birmingham and Coventry. These included a cross-section of vehicles; two-seater, four-seater and SUVs. They were powered using battery electric, hydrogen fuel-cell, plug-in hybrid and induction charging technology.
Vehicles for the trial were provided by a number of manufacturers; Jaguar Landrover, Tata, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz UK (smart) and Coventry University Enterprises with Micro:cab.
The CABLED project delivered the infrastructure required both in the users' properties, in workplaces and in public areas. 36 charge posts were installed at a number of locations to allow for a range of users with varying driving patterns.
Both Coventry University and the University of Birmingham provided associated hydrogen refuelling stations and Aston University analysed the data generated by the vehicles.
Energy suppliers E.ON provided home and work charge points for the trial. They also provided public charging infrastructure in partnership with Birmingham and Coventry City Councils. For information about accessing the public charge points please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Results and data
The study provided extensive vehicle evaluation and usage data to allow final development and help ensure successful production launch of ultra-low-carbon vehicles and associated infrastructure.
Data on vehicle performance, infrastructure usage patterns, impacts and requirements with a minimum of 12 months experience of seasonal conditions was collected.