Electric cars are an excellent choice for everyday use, in particular for daily trips in the city. This conclusion is the result of user analyses in two projects in which Siemens plays a decisive role: the internal 4-Sustainelectromobility (4-S) project involving 20 moveE cars and the external "Electromobility Model RegionMunich - Drive eCharged" project involving 40 BMW MINI E cars. The latter is a joint project with BMW Group and Stadtwerke München, Munichs municipal utility.
The Siemens research organization Corporate Technology is managing both projects. The overwhelming majority of users confirmed that the BMW MINI E is suitable for everyday use. They attested to the fact that the little 200-HP electric speedster is a lot of fun to drive. Private and commercial users drove 40 MINI E cars on Munich streets over a period of ten months. During the model trial the electric vehicles were driven 300,000 kilometers, with zero emissions. Siemens developed the technology for charging.
The scientific survey revealed that the range of the MINI E was sufficient for 89 percent of the private users in day-to-day use. 88 percent of the private users found charging the cars at a charging station (at home or at work) to be more pleasant than driving to a gas station, while 79 percent of the private users said that environmental friendliness and zero-emissions driving were important advantages of the electric car. And 59 percent of the private users would like electric cars to be charged exclusively with electricity from renewable energy sources.
The test drivers of the movE cars had similar positive experiences. In the 4-S project, which is funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Siemens employees in Munich and Erlangen have been testing 20 electric cars based on the Suzuki Splash since November 2010. On weekdays, the test drivers drove an average of only 40 kilometers, which means that the range of approximately 100 kilometers was fully adequate. The cars are charged at charging stations in specially marked parking lots at the Siemens locations where the test drivers work and at home charging stations in their garages (so-called wall boxes).
Thus, the drivers usually have sufficient opportunity to recharge the batteries during the day. The usage as second cars for driving to work or for shopping imposes almost no restrictions on mobility. In the meantime the electric cars were equipped with high-speed charging systems with 11 kilowatts, meaning that the batteries can now be charged within a period of two hours. In the near future, Siemens departments in Berlin will have the opportunity to test car sharing with a fleet of 13 electric vehicles.
Explore further: Pakistani Kashmir turns to water to solve power crisis