EVs help Uni measure city air pollution risk

Friday, July 4, 2014 - 13:30
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EV: Aid to academia?

Studying air pollution ranges in cities, scientists from the University of Leicester will soon be taking to their streets in specially adapted electric vehicles (EV’s).

The Air Quality Group at the campus has collaborated with Cenex, who specialise in bringing new low/zero emission vehicle technologies to our roads.

As part of the project, the academics designed and installed special sensors into EV’s that can measure pollutant concentrations which will provide insight into air quality in polluted urban areas.

Dr Roland Leigh, Project Leader, Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester, said: “Electric vehicles are part of the solution to urban air quality issues.

“A mobile air quality monitoring platform, such as a specially designed electric car, is highly valuable to the scientific study of urban air quality.

“By monitoring air quality as a seamless part of our daily transport system, we are providing a cost-effective way to help inform future policy and operational systems.

“Zero emission vehicles such as electric cars are vital in measuring the quality of air in urban environments, as they do not add further emissions of nitrogen dioxide and other key pollutants, which will allow for a more accurate reading of gathered data.”

As a pilot study, a charging point for the Cenex branded Mercedes Smart EV’s will be installed on the University’s campus.

Cenex hope to encourage and facilitate uptake of EV’s by staff and students and plan future installations on the campus.

Tim Yates, Deputy Director of Estates,at Estates & Facilities Management Division, University of Leicester, said: “These points will be the first of several across the University campus and as the take-up of electric vehicles increases, so the demand for charging points will also increase.

“The wider availability of charging points means more people will consider buying an electric vehicle.

Robert Evans, CEO at Cenex, said: “Cenex is excited to be working with the University of Leicester on this particular project, urban air quality continues to remain high on the political agenda and a major public health concern.

“In order to help bridge the gap between road users and the uptake of EV’s, there needs to be a greater understanding of the environmental and economic advantages zero emission vehicles can bring.

“We have no doubt the results of this project will add to the public understanding of air pollution and further encourage the adoption of zero emissions vehicles.”

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