Example of an ELECAT trip from a business users perspective
A business user needs to travel 300 km for a meeting.
50km of this journey is driven in an individual BEV
which takes 30 minutes, and 250km with the car in the ELECAT which takes 3 hours totalling 3 1/2 hours for the
entire journey. The overall business cost of driving the car is £34/hr, but this cost is effectively zero when using
the telecommunications facilities in the ELECAT for useful business purposes rather than driving, this reduces
the overall cost of using the ELECAT to £10/hr
The overall cost is therefore (½*34) + (10*3) = £47
The time taken if travelling all the way by car would have been 4 hrs after a break, so the cost would have been
4*34 = £166, amounting to a cost saving of £119. In addition the trip would result in minimal CO2 emissions if
the ELECAT were fuelled using renewable biodiesel.
Note that the costs for business users are dominated by the time element. This would remain irrespective of
whether they drove a BEV or fossil-fuelled car. However as BEVs become more popular, places on the
ELECAT could be reserved for BEVs encouraging their use further.
By allowing employees to engage in business activities whilst travelling, their commuting or travelling business
time can be included as work. This increases their effective working hours or reduces the time actually spent at
Example of a car with a passenger qualified to drive the ELECAT
A driver of a BEV wishes to embark his vehicle on an ELECAT for a long journey and he is carrying a
passenger qualified to drive the ELECAT. They decide to travel on the ELECAT to reduce the cost of the
journey. When booking the journey through COAST there is an option to indicate that one of the occupants
wishes to drive the ELECAT if a driver space is available.
On approaching the transfer station, the LCC computer signals to the driver of the approaching ELECAT that a
passenger is willing to take over driving the ELECAT. THE BEV passenger is dropped off near the cab access
area prior to the ELECAT arriving, so he can get in the ELECAT tractor cab without any delay.
Normally ELECAT drivers would be periodically replaced with another person from a reserve pool of drivers
that is available, however, in this case the driver is replaced by the passenger in the BEV.
The cost of the journey is free if one of the passengers drives the ELECAT since the cost of driving it is similar
to transporting a single car on the ELECAT, therefore, in this case the driver and passenger only pay for the
non-ELECAT portion of the journey.
With regards to using car drivers there is additional potential for a drive by wire system where the ELECAT
is effectively driven from someone sitting inside one of the forward facing cars whose controls are re-linked to
the ELECAT. This would avoid the need for a separate driver altogether, reducing costs still further.
Implications of the ELECAT for BEVs
A car ferrying network would allow BEVs to use lighter and cheaper lead acid batteries as a power
source rather than resorting to expensive technologies in an attempt to extend the range. This would in
turn provide the impetus for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and economies of scale that
would make BEVs more affordable. Once sufficient volume was attained, the electric vehicle market could be
further encouraged though local government initiatives such as priority parking and access systems for those
vehicles working in the electric mode.
The BEVs should also be served by an infrastructure of widely
available electric charging points installed alongside parking points, on the street and in car parks to ensure the
49 there are several environmental alternatives to this journey such as telecommuting, but we may assume in this instance that there is a
need to travel.
50 the considerable cost advantage to the business user may justify a surcharge to subsidise the private user
51 perhaps this could include plug-in hybrids providing the IC engine is not used within the urban area