Electric road vehicles for island communities : a study of the potential for introduction in the Scottish islands
The advent of high-performance, traffic-compatible, electric road vehicles (EVs) has brought with it an increasing range of uses and this study is concerned with evaluating the suitability of EVs for a hitherto unresearched application for this emerging technology, namely the island communities of Lewis and Harris. The stimulus for the renewed research and development of EVs has resulted largely from concerns about future energy supply, particularly of oil, and environmental conditions. An assessment of the state-of-the-art of EV technology and of traction battery systems in particular is presented. A strategy for development, commercialisation and diffusion is outlined which recognises the nature of the technology and its likely diffusion process. Market segments, such as island communities, which are suitable for early introduction must be identified. The islands of Scotland were chosen for investigation because of their current patterns of transport. The assessment of potential for EV introduction focuses on the requirements of a personal means of transport in terms of factors such as operating performance, utility, reliability, ability to refuel adequately, safety of operation and disposal, economic advantage and acceptability to motorists. Various relationships are established between the state of EV technology and the potential for introduction in the islands. A practical methodology for assessment which adopts a holistic approach is constructed. This is designed to be generally applicable to other similar EV assessments. The methodology employs a series of purpose-built computer simulation models and data collection techniques in order to model real life situations and systems as closely as possible, facilitating the evaluation of market potential and identification of barriers to EV introduction in the islands.