The University of Hertfordshire’s expertise in automotive technologies, transport planning and clean energy helped steer ambitious plans for the UK’s electric mobility.
Set up by the University of Hertfordshire in 2010 to support the development and take-up of plug-in vehicles in the UK, EValu8 Transport Innovations Ltd installed more than 500 electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the East of England region during its seven-year operation.
The University-owned company aimed to provide the East of England with an operationally effective EV charging network, Source East, which could be used to build on the region’s innovation capabilities.
Plug-in points were installed by retail outlets and local businesses, at railway stations and public car parks. Projects carried out by the University-owned company included links to car clubs, e-mobility hubs, initiatives to improve drivers’ experience and use of the network, and infrastructure improvements to the Source East network. The aim was to ensure that all local businesses and residents in the region were no more than 25 miles away from a recharging post.
Working with the Government, the then East of England Development Agency, the European Regional Development Fund, local authorities, commercial business and charities, EValu8 delivered the Government’s ‘plugged-in places’ (PIP) scheme and linked to other projects to provide a network of plug-in points from London to the Norfolk coast and up to the Midlands.
Building on the University’s research expertise in automotive technologies and clean energy, EValu8 worked with the University’s Centre for Sustainable Communities to provide consultancy in wider aspects of transport planning and to encourage low-carbon transport technologies.
It offered a ‘one stop shop’ for potential EV buyers across the East of England, including information on the recharging network, EVs and partner organisations, and supported the public to make more sustainable transport choices.
The University has built on the EValu8 project through its Smart Mobility Research Unit and pioneering Motion Hub project, which aims to offer end-to-end journey planning by integrating public transport with EV and e-bike use.