Sunday 23 April 2017 We invited Tesla and Nissan to showcase their fully electric vehicles at Brentford Market for World Earth Day to help promote alternatives to diesel and petrol vehicles. Tesla brought along their Model X sport utility vehicle with vertically opening rear doors, and the ability to seat 7 passengers comfortably. This car can do zero to 60mph in as quick as 2.9 seconds, has all wheel drive and a 100kWh battery providing 351 miles of range. It takes just one hour to fully load the battery with one of Tesla’s own super-chargers, available at various service stations and Westfield and Heathrow. This particular model starts at around $68,000. They also have a Model S saloon and the Model 3 available next year will be their most affordable car coming in at around $38,000. Nissan brought along their LEAF hatchback, starting at a more modest £26,000 which fully charged can do a range of 155 miles. It has no internal-combustion engine or a traditional gearbox, so it has far fewer moving parts to maintain. The cost of electricity is far lower than that of petrol or diesel. This car will fully charge for 8 hours over night from a station at your home and be ready to drive the next morning. Both cars drew a lot of attention in different ways, they complemented each other perfectly and gave us a snapshot of the range of possibilities out there for cleaner vehicles and the differences in affordability.
Grants and Congestion Charges
The UK Government offers an incentive for buyers of Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles. This grant covers up to 35% of the value of the car, to a maximum of either £2,500 or £4,500 depending on the model. This is automatically deducted from the price of your car. The scheme heavily favours buyers of 100% electric vehicles over plug-in hybrids, which combine traditional combustion engines and fuels with electric motors and battery technology. Electric cars are also exempt from London Congestion Charge.
Charging your electric vehicle
Through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) the government offers grants to help with the cost of installing charge points at home or work. While these schemes cater for those with off road parking they aren’t suitable for those who park their vehicles on-street. Residents in this situation can re-charge using publically available charge points which can be found on Zap-map. Hounslow Council are also running a trial to provide conveniently located charge points for residents who wish to drive an EV and who have no access to off street parking. This involves retrofitting charge points into lamp columns, find more info here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org