Example of how the ELECAT would be used
The benefit of using the ELECAT is demonstrated by the following example.
Example of an ELECAT trip from a private users perspective
Consider a person who plans to visit relatives with her family during the busy Easter period which requires a
400 km trip. She drives an BEV whose batteries have been charged overnight from a combination of low or
zero carbon sources of energy.
Her car is COAST enabled, this allows co-ordination with other passengers journeys and informs the LCC
computer of her journey and likely time of arrival at the ELECAT transfer station, which is continually updated.
This allows the transfer station to schedule ELECAT stops accordingly using an optimising algorithm which
minimises overall journey times for all users.
The car navigation system directs her towards the nearest ELECAT transfer station in her general direction of
travel. This takes 30 minutes and covers about 40 km of the journey length. On approach to the transfer station
there are a number of electronic signs over each transfer bay. These indicate which transfer stations the next
ELECAT arriving at that bay will stop at. She selects an entry point in the appropriate bay. Due to the quantity
of traffic during the Easter period, there are a large number of ELECATs on the highway. Therefore, it takes as
little as a minute before a suitable ELECAT stops at the transfer point, and a further half a minute to transfer
some of the cars and continue on its journey.
Use of the highway requires a combination of congestion charging and variable speed limits to maintain the
flow of traffic, therefore, a speed limit of 80 kph is imposed and cars choosing to use the ELECAT pay a
The motorway part of the journey is covered in 4 hours 20 minutes using three stops at intermediary transfer
stations. There is a further 20km journey between the transfer station and her destination which takes only 15
minutes due to various short cuts and traffic management priority schemes allowed for BEVs, so the entire
journey takes 4 hours 55 minutes.
Assume that the recommended limit for continuous safe driving is 3 hours, and a 30-minute rest is suggested for
safety reasons. Therefore, the journey by an individual car would therefore be 5 hr 30 minutes due to the 30
minute a stop at a service station, and 10 minutes held up in traffic congestion making up for the 5 minutes lost
starting and stopping at the transfer stations. Overall the BEV using the ELECAT completed the journey 35
minutes quicker than the fossil-fuelled car travelling individually.
During this journey the driver was able to phone her friends in safety to tell them when she would be arriving
and also contact her bank to settle some financial details. She also had the option of allowing her children to
watch a film which would have been projected onto the barrier screen in front of the windscreen. Therefore, she
completed her journey faster, more safely, more comfortably and emitting less CO2 than a driver using an
isolated car, and also managed her personal and professional affairs at the same time.
Her car was charged using electricity from low carbon sources and the ELECAT was fuelled using pure
Biodiesel from a renewable feedstock. Hence the journey emitted less than a quarter of the CO2 of a similar car
using gasoline or Diesel. The cost of the entire round trip including electricity including depreciation was
approximately £50, compared with £60 for the isolated fossil fuel car.