Category Archives: Electric Cars

News and reviews of the latest electric cars (full electrics and plug-in hybrids).

London ups congestion charge on older cars

Brexit be damned. In an effort to comply with European Union pollution regulations, London says that later this year it will begin levying a £10 (about $12.50) charge on older cars if they want to drive in the city’s core.

Though not an outright ban on cars, the fee is a step toward creating the

“toughest emission standard of any major city,”

said London mayor Sadiq Khan in a release issued to members of the media.

London plans to implement the new charge on October 23, 2017, the 14th anniversary of the city’s first congestion fee. The city estimates that the fee will apply to about 10,000 vehicles driven into central London on weekdays.

The new “T-charge” is in addition to a £11.50 fee (£10 with automatic payments) that is already collected on all cars driven into central London between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. While the existing charge applies to nearly all motor vehicles, the T-charge will be levied on cars that do not comply with at least the Euro-4 emissions standards. Broadly speaking, Euro-4 cars date from 2005 or later.

That’s not to say that the new T-charge is not without its detractors. The Telegraph calls it

” a tax on the city’s poorest motorists.”

Khan has also said his administration is investigating a diesel scrapping scheme to pull older, polluting vehicles off of the road and that it is accelerating plans for a separate Ultra Low Emissions Zone that would charge an even larger amount of money to higher emissions vehicles.

Source: The Car Connection

Government Grant for Electric Car Home Charge Point

This is a summary of the UK Government’s scheme for subsidising home charge points for electric cars, known as the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS).

It has been kept relatively simple; if you need detailed guidance you should consult the original document (linked at the bottom).

1. Most plug-in vehicle owners carry out most charging at home.

2. Customers who are the registered keeper or have primary use of an eligible electric vehicle may receive up to 75% (capped at £500, inc VAT) off the total capital costs of the chargepoint and associated installation costs.

3. The key features of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme are as follows:

  • The grant is a 75% contribution towards the cost of one chargepoint and its
    installation up to a maximum of £500 (including VAT) per household/eligible
    vehicle.
  • Customers must provide evidence of being the primary user of an eligible electric vehicle or have a vehicle on order in order to be able to qualify for the grant.
  • The date of installation must not be more than 4 months ahead of the date
    of delivery or start date of vehicle use.

4. The grant covers up to 75% of the eligible costs of chargepoint installation, the
customer form requires confirmation of who is paying the balance of the
installation costs.

5. The grant for 75% must be claimed against an approved chargepoint and
made on your behalf by a chargepoint installer which has been authorised
by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

6. You must have off street parking facilities suitable for chargepoint installation (a survey prior to installation should be conducted by your installer). If you do not have off street parking, your Local Authority may be able to help via a central Government grant.

7. The authorised chargepoint installer will claim the 75% (capped at £500) on your behalf. How the remaining cost is to be met should be agreed with your installer prior to installation. In any event, you should satisfy yourself whether you are expected to pay the remaining cost, and if not who will be paying for it, before the installation takes place. The grant will only be paid in arrears (i.e. once installation is complete).

8. No more than 2 chargepoints can be funded at one property irrespective of how many vehicles are registered there.

Source: EVHS – Guidance for Customers: November 2016

Electric Cars and why this technophobe has one

I’m a 34 year old woman who is not naturally drawn to technology and yet I am an early adopter of the electric car.

I try to live a simple life, and there is little I enjoy more than a bit of nostalgia and switching off from the modern world, so it was a bit of a surprise to some of my friends and family when I decided to get an electric car.

The truth is, that it’s actually not much different to driving a regular car, except you’re considering your fuel consumption differently and of course you are saving the environment, and those are good things to concern yourself with, right?!

I took my mum and sisters to the spa the other week, it was the first time my older sister had been in the car and she was sceptical “are we going to get there and back OK, is there enough charge” she must have said this at least 4 times before she forgot about range and concerned herself with other aspects of the car. She was like a kid with a new toy, pressing the touch screen display, asking “what does this do”, “what does that do”, then noticing how silently the car moves and yet how quick it is off the mark. She was impressed. On the way home she noticed the remaining range “36 miles, oh we’ll get home on that” – she was getting it.  More at ease and enjoying the ride she asked if I wanted any money towards fuel, I laughed and said “well the journey cost less than £1, so I think I’ll let you off” – she was speechless.

‘Getting over’ the technology aspect of the car is very easy, there isn’t actually much to learn, in fact the car itself makes driving and running it very simple, and I do love a simple life 😊

A Mother’s Tale of Electric Cars

I love my electric car! It’s nippy and smooth to drive, all at the same time. Somehow it seems to glide effortlessly along and I can weave in and out of traffic very easily. I use it for all my local errands – family shop, trips to the gym, plus the never-ending Mum-taxi drop offs and pick ups……At night, I plug it in when I finally get home and it is fully charged the next day, ready to go.

Nissan Leaf – a Perfect Family Car

I rarely use up more more than 30% of the battery going about my usual day, so I don’t really have any concerns about the battery life. It took a little getting used to on longer journeys into London – I learned to drive just a little bit slower to conserve the battery – although when we get our new Nissan Leaf next week, it will have a longer range and I can then really put my foot down😉. The free congestion charge and almost free parking in Westminster always make up for the extra 5 minutes in the car!

Most of all, I enjoy the engine quietness and the ‘smug value’ that comes from knowing that I am doing the right thing for my children by not adding more polluting emissions to the earth’s atmosphere. On top of that, it makes financial sense – a new car (let me say that again, a new car – I have NEVER had a new car before!) for just a little more per month than we previously paid for fuel. It’s a no-brainer for me.

2017 set to be landmark year for electric cars

The future is bright for electric cars in 2017, as new figures released recently indicate that more than 100,000 plug-in cars could be on UK roads by the middle of this year.

This prediction is fuelled by record numbers of electric car registrations in 2016, with volumes rising 29% on the previous 12 months. In fact, every quarter of 2016 produced year-on-year growth, with the total number of EVs on UK roads now at more than 87,000.

More and more UK drivers are becoming switched on to the cost-saving benefits and convenience of electric motoring, which resulted in 36,907 electric vehicles being registered between January and December last year, a number that’s set to grow this year.

The ever-increasing selection of electric cars available in the UK is another factor aiding the rise in the market. More than 35 plug-in models are available at the moment, which is four times the number on the market just five years ago.

Plug-in hybrids were particularly popular in 2016, as registrations rose by over 40%. Models such as the BMW 330e, Volkswagen Golf GTE and Audi A3 Sportback e-tron proved to be among the most in-demand.

Source: Go Ultra Low

Mass adoption of electric cars will send diesel extinct in UK, experts predict

Diesel technology is set to be a thing of the past, UK car industry executives believe.

The plan is to invest in the technology needed for battery electric vehicles over the next five years, according to 93% of executives while 62% felt that dieselis losing its importance for manufacturers.

Figures from KPMG’s annual global automotive executive survey also show that 90% of executives expect battery electric vehicles to dominate the marketplace by 2025.

Big shift expected in the next decade. Getty Images

John Leech, of KPMG, said:

“Improvements in the cost and range of battery technology, coupled with growing concern over the emission of both carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides from diesel engines, means that almost the whole automotive industry believes that the mass adoption of electric cars will happen during the next decade.”

Senior executives working for vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, financial and mobility service providers plus car users took part in the survey.

Some 74% of executives thought more than half of car owners today would not want to own a vehicle.

Researchers believe there will be fewer cars and therefore less money to be made from building vehicles in the future as people may opt to use, rent or pay for a car service rather than to own a car.

This was not feared as a looming problem because 85% of executives were convinced their company might make more money by providing new digital services than by selling cars alone.

Mr Leech said:

“Carmakers plan to sell a myriad of new digital services to vehicle users. Today car makers already make substantial profits from the sale of consumer finance and annual vehicle insurance but this will grow in the future as innovative services such as remote vehicle monitoring and the integration of the car as a focal point in people’s ever more connected lifestyles are demanded by consumers.”

Source: The Independent Online

Milton Keynes pushes ahead with Go Ultra Low City programme

Electric Vehicle consultancy, Zero Carbon Futures, has been appointed as project manager to Milton Keynes Council to support the delivery of their Go Ultra Low City programme.

The appointment follows the announcement last year that Milton Keynes has been awarded £9 million from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ Go Ultra Low City Scheme. The funding is to support the city to become a showcase of what can be done to encourage the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles.

Following a competitive tender process, Zero Carbon Futures has been commissioned to oversee the project’s key strands including the EV Experience Centre, EV charge point infrastructure and innovation as well as work on the Highways to support the programme.

Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation, at Milton Keynes Council, said:

“We had a number of exceptionally strong tender submissions for the project management contract however Zero Carbon Futures’ expertise and knowledge of the industry really stood out. The company will be a critical friend for the project throughout its five years.”

Zero Carbon Futures has been involved in a number of high profile electric vehicle projects such as the Rapid Charge Network, Plugged in Places and My Electric Avenue and has overseen the development of charge point networks across the UK including at motorway service stations. The company has also developed a number of electric vehicle marketing and promotional campaigns to encourage residents and businesses to consider making the switch to electric.

Dr Colin Herron, Managing Director at Zero Carbon Futures, said:

“Milton Keynes put forward an exceptionally strong bid to become a Go Ultra Low City and we are delighted to be working with the Council to support its delivery. This is a significant programme which will make a demonstrable difference to electric vehicle uptake in the City and we hope that our expertise will provide real added value to the Council.”

Read more: Zero Carbon Futures

Nissan Leaf

Car Tax, the new VED rules explained

An overhaul of UK car tax rules will increase the cost of motoring – but not if you’re buying a Nissan LEAF

On April 1, the system for taxing new cars in the UK, known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is being radically overhauled (click here for details). The revamp will make it more expensive to run certain types of low-emissions cars – but the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric car, will remain exempt from tax.

Nissan Leaf

If you’re confused by the changes, or uncertain of what they mean if you’re considering buying a new car, here’s a quick guide.

How car tax works now

The amount of VED you currently pay is based on your car’s CO2 emissions. There are 13 VED bands: vehicles that emit between 0 and 130g/km of CO2 (think electric vehicles and certain hybrids) don’t pay any VED in their first year. After that, vehicles that emit 101-120g/km of CO2 have to pay between £10 and £30. The duty jumps from there, to at least £100 for cars that emit 121g/km of CO2 or more.

What’s changing

From April 1, only vehicles that produce no emissions while driving, such as the Nissan LEAF, will be exempt from VED in year one. Vehicles that produce 1-50 g/km of CO2 pay £10; those that emit 51-75 g/km pay £25. VED then leaps to £100 for vehicles that emit 76-90 g/km. From year two on, CO2-producing vehicles costing less than £40,000 pay an annual rate of £140 – with a £310 premium for cars that cost more than £40,000.

Zero emissions, zero tax

Cars that produce 0g/km of CO2 and cost less than £40,000 will remain exempt from VED for their lifetime. The fully-equipped, five-seat electric Nissan LEAF falls into that category – and it’s also exempt from congestion charges. So as well as fuel costs of as little as 2p a mile, buying a safe and reliable LEAF could save you hundreds of pounds in tax.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the British-built Nissan LEAF remains ahead of the pack – because it uses no combustible fuel at all.

Read more: What Car?