Forty-nine cars are being tracked by academics from the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.
Logging and analysing key data, their research will be crucial for the future development of this technology.
Phil Blythe, Professor of Transport at Newcastle University, explained: 'Although there are a number of trials going on across the UK, here in the North East we are the only trial where there is a significant electric vehicle charging infrastructure in place so we can actually measure the real behaviour of drivers – where they are charging their cars, how they are using them etc.
'It’s also the only study which is using production electric vehicles rather than trial vehicles. These are cars which people can actually buy and drive away today. All our data will be passed back to companies, who can use it to improve their vehicles.'
Last week Nissan launched its new Leaf vehicle, one of eight different manufacturers which have vehicles in the trial.
Another, Cramlington-based Avid, has loaned HR Director Veryan Johnson a Cue-V electric car to test.
She has been driving it for the past couple of weeks and said: 'It has been running very well so far.
'It was a bit strange when I first started to drive it. It’s silent and there are no vibrations, which was a little weird, but once you get used to it it’s great.'
Currently there are 130 charging points across the North East for electric vehicles but there are plans for more and eventually there will be 1200 across the region.
Electric vehicles are an economic option, as well as being good for the environment. For the price of a £2 charge they can travel around 90 miles- equivalent to £11 of petrol.
Nick Gianfreda, of Avid vehicles, said: 'People have a lot of misconceptions about electric cars, about them being slow and with poor acceleration, but that is not the case. They can get decent top speeds and they are cheap to run too.'
published on: 6th June 2011