Low carbon project wins prestigious award

Electric vehicle trials
Electric vehicle trials

4 January 2012

The UK’s largest study into low carbon vehicles, which involves Aston University, has won a prestigious technology and innovation award.

The CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators) project scooped the automotive category prize at the prestigious Technology and Innovation Awards 2011, run by The Engineer.    

CABLED is the largest of eight public trials taking part in the Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator programme, with the West Midlands consortium contributing 110 of the 350 vehicles trialed on the UK’s roads. The trials assessed a range of low carbon vehicles, including a mix of fully electric vehicles, plug in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cars in Birmingham and Coventry. The Awards, now in their fifth year, in particular acknowledged the success of the project team’s collaboration and innovation.

Aston University used satellite tracking and data analysis to monitor vehicle usage and driver behaviour for the project. This included monitoring the frequency, length and duration of car journeys, average speeds and the energy used per trip. The Aston research team, led by Brian Price, are now using the journey data to map out an optimal charging point network to further extend the range and improve the convenience of electric cars for future use.

The CABLED scheme, project managed by Arup, brought together six vehicle manufacturers, two city councils, three universities and one electricity supplier.

Neil Butcher and Christina Fell from co-ordinating CABLED partner Arup collected the award at the ceremony at The Royal Society in London.  He said: “The judges were impressed with the degree of collaboration between organisations from different industrial sectors, and that the project was already making an impact and raising awareness of low carbon vehicles to the general public."

Qualitative and quantitative data gathered from CABLED and the other seven projects in the Technology Strategy Board programme will be used to inform the development of a strategy for electric vehicle deployment in the UK.

Visit the CABLED website to learn more about the project and consortium partners.



1.      About the CABLED consortium

The West Midlands consortium, called CABLED – is made up of 13 organisations, led by Arup, a company with experience that crosses all areas that touch this project, from vehicle design to planning to infrastructure and energy.

The West Midlands consortium trialled 110 of the 340+ vehicles taking part in the Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Ultra Low Carbon demonstrator programme. The vehicle manufactures involved are – Jaguar/Land Rover, Mitsubishi/Colt, Mercedes Benz/smart, Tata Motors and Microcab Industries/

Electricity providers E.ON are delivering charging points for the trial with assistance from the city councils of Birmingham and Coventry.

Three of the Midland’s leading universities played a major role in the scheme with Coventry University undertaking the selection process of drivers, Aston University analysing vehicle usage data and the University of Birmingham contributing access and expertise gained from its hydrogen fuelling station.