Scientists measure city air pollution in electric vehicles04 July 2014

Scientists from the University of Leicester will be taking to the streets today (4 July 2014) in electric vehicles fitted with air monitoring sensors, to measure air pollution in city environments.

In collaboration with Cenex – the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies – the University's Air Quality Group will be using Mercedes Smart electric vehicles (EVs) which are fitted with special sensors, designed and installed by the University.

"A mobile air quality monitoring platform, such as a specially designed electric car, is highly valuable to the scientific study of urban air quality," says Dr Roland Leigh from the University's department of physics and astronomy.

Zero-emission vehicles allow for a more accurate reading of data, he explains, since they don't emit nitrogen dioxide or other pollutants.

"By monitoring air quality as a seamless part of our daily transport system, we are providing a cost-effective way to help inform future policy and operational systems," says Leigh.

A charging point for the Cenex-branded EVs will be installed on the University's campus as a pilot study, to boost uptake of EVs by staff and students. More charging points will be installed on the campus in the future.

The University already has six EVs as part of its fleet and this number will grow, says Tim Yates, deputy director of estates at the University.

"The installation of these charging points will go a long way in encouraging the purchase and wider use of electric vehicles," he explains.

"When someone wants to charge their private vehicle, they will be issued with a card and PIN number, enabling them to access the charging point on campus and pay for the electricity used."

The air quality monitoring research is being funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

Laura Cork

Related Companies
Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd
University Of Leicester

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