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Unique facility hosts OEMs as organisations test latest EVs, learn of commercial savings of fleet EV uptake


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2013-12-19 15:05:48 - BMW joins major automotive manufacturers at event in North East England

Unique facilities at the Future Technology Centre are already being utilised before the official 2014 opening. BMW has joined major vehicle manufacturers at an event at its dedicated EV performance track, where leading EV and commercial EV models have been made available for testing as part of the Plug-in Your Fleet event. Technology and infrastructure insight into the future of electric vehicles was provided at an event hosted by the Energy Saving Trust and Zero Carbon Futures recently, as the North East of England enhances its claim to be the UK’s hub of low carbon technology development.

“The Future Technology Centre is home to the only dedicated EV performance track in Europe, and with the infrastructure to support low carbon

vehicle technology development it is a vital tool to enable the UK’s ongoing integration of this technology,” says Dr. Colin Herron, Zero Carbon Futures Managing Director. “Organisations are beginning to understand the potential for saving money and reducing emissions by switching to EVs, and the Plug-In Your Fleet event provided the perfect platform to further examine the benefits of this technology: Energy Saving Trust figures suggest that organisations can save up to 75 per cent of fleet costs by switching to EVs.

“This event has provided an excellent opportunity for fleet managers to experience back-to-back trials of leading EV models in both the domestic and commercial markets,” continues Herron. “Knowledge-sharing industry expertise of organisations such as Energy Saving Trust, Zero Carbon Futures and EDF Energy has helped reaffirm the belief that EVs provide not only a genuine long-term alternative to the internal combustion engine for domestic and commercial users, but a more viable option.”

BMW, Renault, Nissan and Toyota were among the major vehicle manufacturers showcasing latest EVs, and attendees were also able to test the latest commercial EVs from Mercedes (Vito E-cell) and Renault (Kangoo ZE). The opportunity to interact with the latest models heralds an increase in activity for the Future Technology Centre, which nears its early-2014 opening date, and the provision of access to industry experts and knowledge-transfer is indicative of the crucial role that it aims to play in the continued uptake and exploration of low carbon vehicle technologies.

At the Performance Track, which last year underwent a large redevelopment to provide the latest specification in workshop facilities, EDF Energy offered guidance on infrastructure and charging requirements. There was also opportunity to sign up to free electric vehicle analysis from the Energy Saving Trust as part of its Plugged-In Fleets Initiative 1000.

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About Zero Carbon Futures
Zero Carbon Futures is a low carbon technology company with a vision to embrace the opportunities offered by the new developments surrounding low carbon transport. The company’s current projects range from large-scale electric vehicle charging infrastructure programmes through to research on propulsion systems, hydrogen and smart home technologies including vehicle to home technology. Right now Zero Carbon Futures is also developing a dedicated Low Carbon Technology Park in the heart of England’s biggest automotive zone to bring industry, academics and manufacturers together to undertake this research.

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High-resolution images are available at www.autopresspoint.com or from leanne.barton@m-eng.com

Press Contact
Gareth Charlton at Market Engineering
+44 (0)1295 277 050
gareth.charlton@m-eng.com

Marketing Contact
Anya Bramich at Zero Carbon Futures
+44 (0) 191 490 2474
anya.bramich@gateshead.ac.uk





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