Cenex worked with Mercedes-Benz UK and Smart GmbH on a market trial of 100 Smart ED (electric drive) electric cars in the UK. The first of the vehicles was delivered to Coventry City Council on 21st December 2007.Cenex itself trialled four of the vehicles.
Following the success of the first Smart ED market trial, Mercedes-Benz UK released its latest model Smart ED with improved range and power delivery characteristics in 2010 for market trials. MB UK plans to go into full series production from 2012. Cenex is continuing to support the deployment of the Smart ED vehicles through fleet integration, performance and user perception studies as part of the Smart Move project.
Why did Cenex support the Smart ED Project?
- The Smart ED uses electric driveline components and systems sourced from UK supplier Zytek, fulfilling Cenex’s remit to support the UK supply chain for innovative low carbon automotive technologies.
- Cenex used the field trial phase of the project to collect information on the suitability of electric vehicles in different fleet operations to help inform both fleet operators and technology developers about the market requirements for electric vehicles.
How did Cenex Support the Smart ED Project?
Cenex provided the project with £100,000 of direct funding to support the development and testing of the electric drive and battery system. It is also providing additional support by:
- assisting the development of field trial projects to place the original 100 vehicles
- promotion and dissemination of information gleaned from the project through web published reports and event presentations
- funding qualitative and quantitative testing of the vehicles while on trial
Quantitative field trial data concerns the performance and reliability of the EV powertrain under real-world conditions and drive cycles. Qualitative studies seek to assess the applicability of the Smart EV to operator needs. This type of study involves data recording on the part of operators related to whether personal choice affected their choice to use the vehicle for a particular task and when trip/job requirements prevent this.
The paper entitled Electric Drive Vehicle Chrarcteristics Study presented by Cenex at EVS24, the International electric vehicle symposium and exhibition held at Stavanger in May 2009, discussing the performance of the Smart car under real world conditions is available from the Resources page(1Mb PDF).
Further information on vehicle performance and user perception is available from the Smart Move page.