News Column

New London Electric Boris Acid Test

Dec. 3, 2012

Tom Mcghie

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

Electric cars are likely to be the only vehicles to escape London's congestion charge from next year if new emission recommendations are accepted by Mayor Boris Johnson.

About 19,000 vehicles, mainly with small diesel engines, escape the pounds sterling 10-a-day levy as their engines emit less than 100 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

But from July the levels are to be slashed to less than 75g of CO2 per kilometre, and at present only all-electric and some hybrid cars can achieve this. Owners of cars that meet today's levels will have a sunset period of two years before they lose their exempt status.

Inevitably, Transport for London, which receives pounds sterling 169 million a year from the charge, will raise money from the move. Though London is the most electrified car city in the UK with 16 per cent of all electric cars and 850 charging points rising to 1,300 next year, British sales of electric cars have been poor.

Producers of electric vehicles, mainly Nissan, which makes the Leaf, and General Motors, which makes the Ampera, have appealed to the Chancellor for more help.

Even though the Ampera won the Car of the Year Award, only 450 have been sold this year despite a pounds sterling 5,000-a-car Government subsidy.

The Ampera costs pounds sterling 29,950 or more after the pounds sterling 5,000 discount. That is at least pounds sterling 12,000 more costly than a four-seater Ford Focus.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

For more coverage on the automotive industry, please see HispanicBusiness' Auto Channel

Source: (c) 2012 Daily Mail (London)

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