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Electric vehicle arrives on Scilly for testing

A new electric vehicle has arrived on Scilly as part of the Smart Energy Islands project.

Hitachi and the Council will be testing the van to see if it is viable for use on the islands.

Hitachi's Smart Islands Programme Lead John Whybrow said the company want to ensure that they can charge electric vehicles "in an intelligent way to use solar power that is clean and green to power transport on the islands".

"The van is here to test the connection between our energy system and electric vehicles. The energy project hopes to use home technology and energy in the homes to help balance the supply of energy from our solar panels. We hope to extend that to using electric vehicles as part of that balancing system as the next project in Smart Islands comes to fruition, which is the car share project.

"This is the connection between the two. We want to check that we can charge electric vehicles in an intelligent way to use solar power that is clean and green to power transport on the islands. This is the first step to test how we can charge it at certain times, how we can ensure it’s got enough charge to do its daily work and we’ll be working with the Council to see how they get on with it and how the vehicle lasts in the particularly harsh climate here with the winter that is fast approaching."

He added: "We will be monitoring it carefully to see if the electric system suffers or if there's corrosion so that when we come to buy the vehicles for the car share scheme run by the Council, we know in advance whether we need to take any special measures to make sure their life on Scilly is long and successful."

It was recently announced that the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is investing £1 million to bring low carbon technologies and clean growth to Scilly, including money for 10 electric vehicles and 25 charging points.

However, John stressed that the new van is not part of the Council's plan to deploy a small fleet of electric vehicles, which is the next project for Smart Islands.

"The electric vehicles will be for islanders to share to try to encourage people out of their petrol and diesel and into electric and also to test how those electric vehicles can be used as part of energy balancing on the islands. This van is not part of that, it's part of the Hitachi Smart Energy Islands project. They just happen to have been announced and arrived at the same time.

"But there is a link, which is that the Council's car share project will depend on us being able to charge the vehicles intelligently and ultimately suck energy back out of the vehicles, so we're testing some elements of that with this van."

#council #smartislands

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