RESIDENTS in a Marlow cul-de-sac have ditched their petrol cars to go electric after signing up for a pioneering energy project which sees the street become the world’s first ‘Electric Avenue’.

Nine households in Ryans Mount have taken delivery of their all-electric Nissan Leafs to use over an 18-month test period.

Residents clubbed together to be part of a new scheme designed to test new technology that will monitor and control the electricity demand from charging electric cars.

Led by EA Technology and hosted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution, the project aims to find a way to manage electricity networks to handle the surge in electric car use.

Mike Potter, MD at Fleetdrive Electric, based in Marlow, managed to persuade his neighbours to go electric for the trial, with the residents receiving the cars at heavily subsidised rates.

He said: “Initially we just posted flyers through people’s doors and there were some who came back to us right away. Finding the others was a little more difficult.

“Others asked to have a drive first, there are a lot of questions as electric cars as quite new, but bit by bit we got there.

“Everyone seems pleased with the cars and after a week or two the things they may have been worried about have disappeared, now that they see they don’t have to change their driving habits.

“At some point we will all have to more fuel efficient ways of driving. This is a world first and we’re all very proud to be involved with this.”

Ryans Mount is the first of eleven ‘clusters’ around Britain that are currently receiving deliveries of Nissan LEAFs, charging points, and equipment that monitors and controls charging levels.

‘My Electric Avenue’ is focusing on how best to manage the network when a large number of electrics vehicles charge in the same street at the same time.

A solution may be required after a parcel delivery company was believed to have overloaded the grid when it plugged in its network of electric vans at a depot in north London.

It is also the first trial that directly controls domestic car charging to prevent underground cables, overhead lines and substations being overloaded.

The ultimate aim is to find a solution that would avoid the need to dig up the roads to install higher capacity electric cables if and when the electric revolution eventually takes hold.

The nationwide scheme is still looking for recruits for its separate social study, which is monitoring the effects of electric vehicles on people’s motoring behaviour.

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