Thu, May 17, 2018 12:00 AM
Driving electric vehicles could lead to better mental health of the population says a new study which says electric cars are less stressful.
The study monitored the mental activity of taxi drivers in the UK, comparing those who drove a diesel model to those who drove an electric vehicle, the quieter driving experience of electric motors being the largest contributory factor.
The research conducted by the London Electric Vehicle Company and University of York, fitted a brain cap to the drivers head and found that cabbies could think clearer when driving electric, with higher levels of ‘beta brain wave activity’.
Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVC said: 'Given that cabbies spend up to 12 hours a day driving, the vehicle is their office.
'We owe them a duty of care to provide the best working environment – and this study shows that driving our electric cab has a clear benefit for mental well-being.'
Dr Duncan Williams for the University of York added: 'The study suggests that the quieter driving environment allowed cabbies to be in a more concentrated state of mind. In other words, by removing the noisy diesel engine rumble, they are perhaps freed up to get on with driving in a more focused, but calm way.
'It’s a fascinating result and, given the movement towards electric commercial vehicles, shows there are even more benefits of going electric than we might have previously thought.'
It’s not all positive news for electrification though, a conflicting survey has suggested that ‘range anxiety’ is one of the key barriers to motorists purchasing an electric vehicle, with 70 per cent of respondents saying that they would worry about not being able to travel as far as they needed.
Making the UK’s road network more accessible to charging points would diffuse range anxiety according to John Roberts, head of automotive and roadside for Colliers International.
He said: 'Currently, there are over 5,000 locations in the UK that have a public charging point installed and there are over 9,000 devices at these locations, which provide 15,000 connectors.
'Although these statistics are impressive, the number of connectors and devices will need to at least quadruple in the short term to meet the demand from the increasing sales of EVs.
'Charging at home is fine if you have off-street parking. Of course, many of us don’t.’
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