Four unique electric "micro cars" are coming to UW-Madison soon, part of a new research project that aims to reduce the university's carbon footprint, gather data and initiate more sustainability research among faculty members and students.
UW-Madison is one of four institutions receiving four Innova Dash all-electric vehicles this summer. The cars, called "new urban electric vehicles," will connect to the UW's wireless network and will be equipped with tablet-sized personal computers. They will be able to communicate data such as position, speed and battery charge directly to the network, which will provide the information to various research projects.
"We will utilize these electric vehicles to reduce the energy footprint of the campus community as a whole and achieve the goals of increasing awareness among the campus community of the positive impact of electric vehicles, designing strategies for optimally using a pool of electric vehicles by understanding how campus uses them, and exploring techniques for improved connectivity between the Internet-based services and electric vehicles," said
"This project aligns with the
The UW's project also includes
Potential UW projects range from using the cars to create a shared pool to allow participants to learn about the energy footprint of different vehicles and the potential carbon footprint reduction of electric alternatives. An online reservation system will be incorporated which will not only check availability, but also utilize information such as charge status of the batteries, and availability of charging stations near the desired location for decision making. The vehicles will be used like others in the local transportation fleet, so the UW will have ample opportunity to measure how they perform and how users adapt to their characteristics.
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