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UK: Green light for electric car project to expand

SCOTLAND’S largest research project into the use of electric cars has more than doubled in size.

The project, launched last August, examines how long the vehicles can run on one charge, how cost effective they are and how they perform in different conditions.

Experts said results of the study, being run by Jewel and Esk College, will be crucial to the vehicles becoming a viable option for motorists.

Researchers said they want to build public confidence in electric cars and ultimately make them “mainstream” across Scotland.

Four cars were initially distributed in Edinburgh and Dalkeith but a further five have since been put into use. Three charging points have been built by students and staff at the college.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV cars are being used by the college’s Edinburgh and Dalkeith campuses, Stevenson College, Midlothian Council’s headquarters in Dalkeith, East Lothian College, Telford College, Napier University and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

An event next month, organised by The Scotsman Conferences and Jewel & Esk College, will unveil the results of the first six months of the study.

Professor Tariq Muneer, an expert in electric vehicles at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “This kind of project is crucial in the future of electric vehicles because the results – both the hard data and comments by users of the vehicles – can help us to identify the challenges that remain, and to figure out how to tackle them.
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