b-bug trial off to flying start

The b-bug trial has now been running for nearly 2 weeks – only Boris seeing live action at this point.

We’ve had 4 triallists participate with another 15 booked up in July and August. The triallists (dominated to date by women drivers!) have included people camping, staying in B&B and in a hotel so anyone can enjoy b-bugging it seems. All have enjoyed their b-bug adventures.

The longest recorded trip so far was 23 miles and the fastest recorded speed – over 40 mph. The b-bugs have so far been used for sightseeing, shopping, recycling, reaching a pub for lunch and reaching the local canoe hire base (11 miles). Boris coughed and spluttered a bit tackling one particularly steep hill (as is his wont) but otherwise the trial has been problem free.

The b-bugs have GPS trackers fitted so we are collecting a mass of data on speed, trip length, altitude and routes taken. We are thinking we might try to collect some control data from short car trips in this area. Given our narrow, bendy, hilly lanes, it would be interesting to see how the stats compare.

A few of our b-bug friendly charge points have helpfully provided a top up charge for a weary Boris – one reporting that Boris makes her smile every time she spots him. Thank you Wye Valley Canoes and Drovers Holidays, Erwood Station Craft Centre.

Whilst Boris has been hurtling around the Beacons winning new friends, Blodwen has been undergoing rigorous testing on speed, terrain and range. She’s not quite as fast as Boris (although she can make 30 mph at a push) but she accelerates faster, has a similar range and, best of all, has so far managed to climb everything she’s been confronted with – albeit slowly (10 mph) but with a sturdy confidence which emphysemic Boris lacks on the steeper inclines. The test crew passenger is enjoying no longer having to get out and walk for critical steep sections of a trip.

Blodwen also has the added benefit of regenerative braking – this makes driving down vertiginous slops a much more relaxing experience – in fact it doesn’t require use of the brake pedal at all. However, it’s interesting to discover just how little energy one actually recovers that way. We have descended 1000ft over 4 miles in Blodwen and recovered 2Ah – enough to extend her range by less than a mile! Still, it feels good and the anoraks always want to know if you have it!

Blodwen is now being added to the trial fleet – starting tomorrow with a particularly vertiginous assignment. We wish her well.

We still have plenty of free 3-5 day slots for the b-bugs during the coming months. If you are visiting the Brecon Beacons, you can apply to take part here.

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About Alison Kidd

Research Psychologist
This entry was posted in b-bug project and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to b-bug trial off to flying start

  1. Hilary Williams says:

    Great to hear things are taking off. Good Luck with the rest of it.

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