In the three years that have elapsed since London Mayor Boris Johnson announced his intention of making London the electric car capital of Europe, just 588 new electric vehicles have been registered in the city.
This does, I think, qualify as a fail – although a politician would doubtless point out that it’s actually one every two days, quite impressive for new technology.
However, car hire companies are increasingly offering electric car hire in the world’s major cities – and London is no exception.
What’s more, Ken McCall, Managing Director of Europcar UK Group, seems to agree with me:
“New figures suggest that London is being slow to embrace electric cars. But it could be the ideal option for motorists keen to reduce their fuel costs and avoid congestion charges.”
In the spirit of putting their money where their mouths are, Europcar has recently added the all-electric Nissan Leaf to its London car hire fleet.
The Nissan LEAF has a homologated range of 108 miles (175km), which is more than 90% of Europeans drive in a day. And although it is as easy to drive as a conventional car, every Europcar customer hiring a LEAF will be given a face-to-face handover by a Europcar representative who has been fully trained on the car and its workings. Plus, Europcar will recharge it completely free of charge, even waiving the standard service fee usually made for vehicle refuelling.
McCall think that now is the right time for Londoners to start taking electric cars seriously:
With 400 charging points now installed across the city, we think this is the perfect time for motorists to test out the new technology. Hiring a Nissan LEAF could be the ideal option for motorists keen to reduce their fuel costs and avoid congestion charges. At the forefront of electric vehicle technology, it fits perfectly with our philosophy of pioneering sustainable car hire solutions, giving customers a real choice when it comes to car hire.”
You can find out more or get a quote by visiting www.europcar.co.uk.