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EV Research Program leases electric cars

June 20, 2014--Electric cars are available to University employees and Delaware residents for lease as part of UD’s innovative vehicle-to-grid project.

The UD Electric Vehicle research and development program, working with BMW and AutoPort in New Castle, is offering a small number of Mini-E electric vehicles (EVs) for two-year lease agreements. Previously, the cars were available only to businesses and UD departments.

“Individual drivers are now needed to expand the demonstration over a wider range of driving patterns,” said project leader Willett Kempton, professor of marine policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

The new individual-lease cars can be used in the same manner as a personally leased car, with the addition that the cars provide electricity to the power grid when parked and plugged in. If the car is kept plugged in most times when not driving, it can earn payments back to the driver of roughly $100 per month, or $1,200 per year.