I recently looked into what it would take to own a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt/Ampera in a city. I live in the centre of Oxford in the UK and have a membership of a car sharing organisation (Commonwheels) which has a number of cars just nearby. I have done a lot of research into EV’s as part of my involvement in Oxford YASA Motors spinout of Oxford University and an ongoing involvement in composites through Formtech which are quite relevant to weight saving in this sector.
Many of the market predictions on EV uptake reference Megacities and the likihood of a change in usage habits driving growth in the market. However, it is quite difficult for me to own an EV.
I test drove the Nissan Leaf and much to my surprise, it was, just like a normal car! I think I was mostly surprised that I should be surprised. It had plenty of power off the line, had good build quality, did everything a normal car does and had plenty of extra electronic gadgets that go with EV such as SatNav with predicted ranges and other handy tools for managing range aniexty.
The big problem is charging an EV at home when you have a terrace house in the inner city! There are currently no schemes for on street charging in Megacities. Plenty of solutions for people with big houses, garages and off street parking, but not what I would call the areas that may drive EV growth.
As always, new innovations come from solving problems and this looks like the next peice of the puzzle that needs to be solved before I could look at EV in the centre of a city.