Electric cars to measure pollution risk in Leicester

Posted by ap507 at Jul 02, 2014 10:55 AM |
Scientists to monitor city pollution levels using air quality sensors in electric vehicles

University researchers from the Air Quality Group will be taking to the streets in electric vehicles (EV’s) fitted with specialised air monitoring sensors, with the intention of measuring the extent of air pollution in city environments.

The project, which is headed by Dr Roland Leigh (pictured) from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is a collaboration with Cenex, the UK’s First Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies, who specialise in bringing new low and zero emission vehicle technologies to the UK roads.

As part of the project, the University has designed and installed special sensors into EV’s that can measure pollutant concentrations around the city. The information from these sensors will provide an insight into the quality of the air we inhale in polluted urban areas.

A charging point for the Cenex branded Mercedes Smart EV’s will be installed on the University’s campus as a pilot study. The objective is to encourage and facilitate future uptake of EV’s by staff and students. Additional charging points will be installed on the University’s campus in the future.

The research has received funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’s Knowledge Exchange budget.

The electric cars will be launched on Friday 4 July and will be driven around Leicester. They will be measuring air quality during everyday work for the project team including the installation and maintenance of the static air quality monitoring network.