Edinburgh College Begins EV Trial
College and council employees will be able to use the four Mitsubishi i-MiEVs as pool cars to find out how far they travel on one charge, gain driver feedback and test cost-effectiveness and suitability for different weather conditions.
The contract hire agreement was arranged by Inchcape Fleet Solutions, and is the first time the company has signed a contract for electric vehicles.
Each car will have its own charging point, supplied by Siemens, installed at Jewel & Esk’s campuses, Stephenson College and Midlothian Council. Siemens is understood to be in talks with the college with plans to develop a long-term relationship.
The project’s £25,000 funding was supplied by the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran), with an additional undisclosed sum provided by Midlothian Council.
Local dealership Phoenix Mitsubishi, which supplied the cars, will fund scholarships at the college as part of a scheme to develop a Centre for Excellence in renewable energy and low carbon technologies, formed as part of a merger between Jewel and Esk and Stevenson colleges.
Mandy Exley, principal at Jewel & Esk and the driving force behind the project, said: ‘This exciting project links the college firmly to electric vehicle technology in the long-term. It aims to raise awareness of electric vehicles and their potential.
‘With petrol and diesel costs rising and greater environmental know-how, drivers are looking at alternatives – and will certainly be interested if the cars are cost-effective to run and easy to charge. We want to hold seminars and training programmes to ensure this project raises awareness of best practice around electric vehicle technology.’
Richard Middleton, sales and marketing director at Inchcape Fleet Solutions, added: 'Signing our first electric vehicle contract is a fantastic milestone for Inchcape Fleet Solutions and really demonstrates the variety in our fleet offering.
'Looking at the bigger picture, it is particularly pleasing for us that our contract with Jewel and Esk College means we can jointly raise electric vehicle awareness across Scotland, coinciding with our appearance at GreenFleet Scotland on September 1st, and further broadcast the green agenda.'