RCN drivers study

The Rapid Charge Network (RCN) team is carrying out a detailed study about the impact of the network, looking at driver and charging behaviour.

The findings of the research will be vital in helping to inform the development of other similar networks both in the UK and across Europe.

We launched the study at the start of 2014 and asked EV drivers to take part, either by completing questionnaires, by taking part in a focus group, by granting access to their car’s data or by volunteering to have a data logger installed in their car.

The response was overwhelming and we have hit the target for driver involvement - thank you to all the drivers who are taking part in the study.

Some of the key themes being studied include:

  • Changes in driver behaviour – for example, energy use, driving styles and Rapid Charge Network routes travelled, during and after the introduction of the new multi-standard charging stations.
  • Changes in charging patterns – we want to find out whether the introduction of the new charging stations will influence drivers’ charging patterns.
  • EV adoption – does the introduction of the Rapid Charge Network lead to a change in levels of EV sales in the surrounding areas?
  • C02 reduction – the study will analyse the contribution that the project makes to C02 reduction in the UK.

During March 2014 the RCN team travelled the network route, meeting drivers and installing data loggers with our suppliers from Canadian technology company CrossChasm. It is their Fleet Carma data loggers which are installed in cars, providing minute by minute data from the moment of installation, revealing trends in charging and helping us find out more about how people use the charge points.

Scott Helme is one of the 40 drivers who volunteered to have a data logger installed in their vehicle and has been using the interface to monitor his own charging habits. He said: "A month ago I had a black box fitted to my Leaf to take part in a survey for the Rapid Charge Network. The first thing that struck me is that I do the majority of my charging on rapid chargers - around 62%. I knew my rapid charger usage was high, but I didn’t realise it was actually more than what I charge at home, and by a good margin too!

“All in all, I think it’s incredibly interesting and as far as I can tell, the data logger hasn’t missed a single piece of information. The dashboard is responsive, reliable and easy to use and the black box was fitted in about 15 minutes and all I have is a little circular GPS antenna on the side of the dash about the size of a 50p coin. I’m very happy overall.”

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The Rapid Charge Network is supported by major industry partners, including: