Guidance for local authorities
Download Transport for London's guidance document on implementing EV charging infrastructure
Find an electric vehicle dealer
Contact details and location map for a selection of the main electric vehicle dealers across the UK
News & Events - March '13
28.3.2013Electric Vehicle Trials win Sustainability Award
Camden Council has won a Sustainable Cities Award for Best Transport Initiative for its Electric Vehicle Trials Project.
The scheme offers eligible Camden businesses the opportunity to trial vehicles such as the Vauxhall Ampera, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid or Renault Twizy for two weeks, completely free of charge or obligation.
The trials were recognised for making electric vehicles more accessible and positively influencing the purchasing decisions of businesses who rely on vehicles.
Camden has so far provided 22 free trials for businesses, and hosted two trial days for residents.
The award was presented on Tuesday 20 March by sustainable fashion designer Livia Firth at the Lord Mayor’s residence at Mansion House. The Sustainable City Awards have been running for 13 years.
Find out more about the Camden electric vehicle trials.
The London Borough of Camden, the Energy Saving Trust and www.Green-Car-Guide.com have also worked together on an Electric Car Guide animation.
25.3.2013New all-electric Renault ZOE to come with free domestic charging point
Renault will offer customers of its new all-electric ZOE afree domestic charging point.
The free Single Wall-box, supplied and installed byRenault’s preferred electric vehicle charging partner, British Gas, is available both to new customers, as well as those who’ve already pre-ordered a ZOE.
This offer makes the most of the recently announced 75% support on domestic Wall-box installations as part of the government’s £37m grant funding to increase the take-up of electric vehicles, with Renault contributing the remaining 25%. The ground-breaking offer will save a typical customer up to £500 and make the 100% pure electric Renault even more affordable and easy to run.
Customers already save up to £5,000 on the price of their electric car from the government’s Plug-In Grant. In the case of the ZOE, this brings the car’s on-the-road price (£13,650 to £14,750 depending on trim level) down to an equivalent diesel supermini and becomes yet another incentive to make the switch to electric.
British Gas can install a 32 amp (7kW) ZE ready Single Wall-box with all new and pre-ordered purchases, and have it fully operational ready for owners to be up and running well in advance of charging the ZOE at home for the first time.
At the point when the ZOE customer order is submitted British Gas will contact the customer to arrange a convenient time for a home survey and installation, approximately one month before delivery of the car. If, however, the customer decides to opt out from the Renault offer at this stage they can organise their own installation. Providing they select an alternative unit from the Government’s list of accredited suppliers they will benefit from 75% funding of the total cost (up to a maximum of £1000) and be responsible for paying the balance themselves.
Renault believes that around 90% of charging will take place at home, with the ZOE’s battery able to be charged from completely flat to fully charged in just three and a half hours with the Single Wall-box. As an added ‘green’ bonus, the ‘data-enabled’ type 2 Wall-box also allows customers to see how much energy the car is using and the comparable emissions savings they are making via the online app. The ZOE can also be fast charged to 80% of its capacity in just 30 minutes using public Rapid-Charger 43kW power sources.
The Single Wall-box can be installed at any UK residential address with a GPRS signal. It also has an attached lead, meaning that drivers don’t have to delve into the boot at night to find the cable to plug in. Also included in the package is free access to a public charging network across the UK.
Read our Renault ZOE review
Watch our Electric Car Guide video
21.3.2013March 2013 Budget: Changes to VED, company car tax, capital allowances, and more
Here’s a summary of how the March 2013 Budget affected motorists, including changes to Benefit In Kind (BiK) tax levels for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Company Car Tax and EV BIK
Benefit In Kind (BiK) tax levels on Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) – including Electric Vehicles (EVs) - with 0-50g/km CO2 emissions, will remain at five per cent in the 2015-16 tax year (rather than 13% as previously announced), rising to seven per cent in the 2016-17 tax year.
From April 2015 there will be the introduction of two new bands at 0-50 g/km of carbon dioxide (g/km CO2) and 51-75 g/km CO2. There is also a change to the rules in that in future years CCT rates will be announced three years in advance.
Capital allowances for ULEV business cars
In last year’s Budget, the Chancellor announced that the 100% First Year Allowance would be extended until 2015 for cars emitting 95 g/km CO2. The Chancellor has now announced a further three year extension until 2018 for cars emitting 75 g/km CO2 or less. This will maintain the financial incentive for businesses to purchase ULEVs.
Vehicle Excise Duty
From 1 April 2013, VED rates will increase in line with RPI, apart from for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which will be frozen in 2013-14. The government has said that it has no plans to make signiﬁcant reforms to the structure of VED for cars and vans in this Parliament.
There will also be an extension to the cut-off date from which classic vehicles are exempt from VED by one year; from 1 April 2014 a vehicle manufactured before 1 January 1974 will be a classic exempt from VED.
Reduced Pollution Certificates VED discounts for Euro VI vehicles are due to expire on 31 December 2016. The Government will replace RPC VED discounts with grants for Euro 5-6 vehicles within the HGV Road User Levy scheme, from 1 April 2014 to 31 December 2016.
The 1.89p per litre fuel duty increase that was planned for 1 September 2013 has been cancelled. It means that fuel duty will have been frozen for nearly three and half years, the longest duty freeze for over 20 years.
Research and Development (R&D) tax credit
In the Autumn Statement 2011, government announced it would introduce an Above the Line (ATL) tax credit for large company R&D expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2013. The Budget increases the ATL credit to a rate of 10% before tax.
Government to provide £1.6 billion of funding to support sector strategies, including automotive, during the course of 2013.
The Volkswagen e-up! is the company’s first fully electric production vehicle, with a driving range of 93 miles.
The e-up! is powered by an electric motor with 60 kW / 82 PS peak power and 40 kW / 55 PS continuous power is. Its maximum torque of 210 Newton metres is available immediately. It accelerates from 0 to 62 mph within 14 seconds and reaches a top speed of 83 mph. The lithium-ion battery integrated in the underfloor area has a total energy storage capacity of 18.7 Kilowatt-hours (kWh); this means that the car can cover up to 93 km (per NEDC) on a single charge. The e-up! weighs 1,185 kg.
As an option, the Combined Charging System (CCS) is used, which has been standardised by Volkswagen and other carmakers. It supports both DC and AC charging, so that drivers can easily charge their cars at most charging stations – regardless of the power sources or charging rates that they offer.
In autumn, the e-up! will make its show debut at the International Autoshow in Frankfurt and following this will become available to order. First UK customer deliveries are expected to take place from early 2014.
See our Electric Car Guide video
17.3.2013UK average new car CO2 emissions in 2012
A report issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2013, shows that 2012 new car emissions improved 3.6% year-on-year to 133.1g/km CO2 (equivalent to 53.4mpg), down more than 26% since the year 2000.
The number of VED-free, sub 100g/km CO2, cars also rocketed in 2012, more than doubling their share of the market to 8.2% in the year.
This trend towards low emissions and maximum fuel efficiency was reflected by the number of cars registered with less than 130g/km of CO2 emissions. This emission level is the target average limit set by Europe for manufacturers to achieve by 2015 and last year more than half the market - 55.4% - met the level or improved on it.
Vehicle manufacturers have concentrated efforts on providing low carbon choices for motorists buying across all types and sizes of vehicles. Looking at the rate of progress made over the past five years, average emissions across all segments (car sizes), dropped almost 20% with larger vehicles making the biggest improvements. Executive cars cut CO2 25% while Specialist Sports and Dual Purpose vehicles improved 24.7% and 23.1% respectively.
Matthew Croucher, author of SMMT's Report, said, "Industry can be proud of the progress it has made in reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency by more than 25% since 2000. The UK motor industry recognises its responsibilities and the industrial opportunities from the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles.
"Future environmental and economic success will be determined by sustained investment in new technology, R&D, infrastructure and consumer incentives. We are seeing improvement in conventional technologies and the emergence of a range of alternative technologies, creating one of the most innovative periods for the global automotive industry."
Achieving record market shares, diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued their rise in popularity, taking 50.8% and 1.4% of the 2012 market respectively. Petrol-electric hybrids accounted for 85% of all AFV volumes in 2012 with an average CO2 output of 98.7g/km, some 26% below the UK average. Though market development is in its earliest stages, Electric and Plug-In vehicle registrations rose 111.8% in 2012 to 2,237units, aided by the introduction of new models and the Plug-In Car Grant.
UK automotive is a global leader for low carbon R&D, productivity and quality, exporting its products around the world. To retain this position and meet the stringent EU legislative target of 95g/km CO2 by 2020, successive governments must commit to a strong long-term industrial policy that provides the certainty required by international firms to sustain investments in low carbon R&D in the UK. Government needs to provide consistency on taxation and maintain and expand incentives like the Plug-In Car Grant, which encourage consumers to move towards low carbon and more fuel-efficient technologies.
The European new car fleet must achieve a 130g/km CO2 average by 2015.
Every vehicle manufacturer has its own target, based on the weight of the cars it sells. These individual targets combine to make the 130g/km average.
In 2012, 65% of the fleet must comply, with the proportion increasing towards total fleet compliance in 2015.
There is an ultimate target of 95g/km CO2 by 2020, subject to impact assessment.
The full SMMT New CarCO2 Report 2013 is free to download from www.smmt.co.uk/co2report
7.3.2013New Nissan LEAF
A new all-electric Nissan LEAF has been unveiled, with a driving range improved from 109 miles to 124 miles, and both the car and its batteries will be manufactured in the UK.
Since its launch in 2011, more than 50,000 examples have found homes and the world's best-selling pure electric vehicle has been built solely in Japan. But production of the new model will soon commence at Nissan’s Sunderland production facility with more than 100 changes made to the multi-award winning car.
Improvements include an extended driving range, greater recyclability, more interior space, better charging performance, more equipment and, with three versions now available, greater choice. Subtle styling changes to the nose of the car have improved its aerodynamic efficiency.
Many of the changes have come as a direct result of feedback from LEAF owners. With some of the most active internet forums of any car-owning group, LEAF drivers have become enthusiastic advocates of zero-emission mobility and of the car itself – the LEAF enjoys the highest customer satisfaction rating of any Nissan model with a score of 93 per cent.
As well as discussions about various aspects of life with a LEAF, the forums are used by owners to offer tips and hints to fellow users, as well as to suggest a number of improvements that could be made to the car. By monitoring this feedback and by holding regular owner events to gain further input, Nissan has incorporated many of the suggestions into the new LEAF.
In addition to this human feedback, Nissan has been able to get feedback from aggregated data from the Carwings telematics system, which is at the heart of LEAF. This feature gives customers the ability to control the heating and charging of their car remotely and also logs information on charging, usage patterns and distance driven. WithLEAF having been on sale for more than two years, engineers at Nissan have been able to use some of the data collected to optimise the car in line with actual customer usage.
Changes range from a new powertrain assembly that greatly enhances the car's practicality to simple modifications, such as the addition of an LED inspection light within the charging port making overnight charging that much easier.
Other aspects of LEAF ownership have also changed dramatically since the car first appeared on Europe's roads, with a greatly expanded charging infrastructure and a significant rise in the number of Nissan dealers selling and servicing the car in the last 12 months alone.
At the time of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, for example, there were 150 Nissan LEAF dealers across Europe and 195 Quick Chargers, capable of charging a battery to 80 per cent capacity in less than 30 minutes. Today, just 12 months later, there are 1,400 dealers and more than 600 Quick Chargers, while the number of conventional public chargers has increased from 12,000 to more than 20,000.
The dramatic expansion in Quick Chargers has been facilitated in part by Nissan, which has provided a number of the units to local authorities to accelerate the development of Quick Charging ‘Highways' between cities across Europe. To date, Nissan is behind the installations of 200 Quick Chargers, both at dealers and strategic locations, and plans to triple this figure over the next 12 months.
Customer peace of mind has also been increased with a new comprehensive warranty plan for the batteries. As well as covering the batteries against defects in materials and workmanship for five years/100,000 kms, they will be covered by a ‘State Of Health' clause which covers gradual capacity loss.
Over time, lithium-ion batteries lose a percentage of their capacity, a natural phenomenon. But should battery life reduce quicker than anticipated over the same warranty period it will either be repaired or replaced.
One significant change to the 2013 Nissan LEAF is the move to producing the car in three different locations: North America, Europe and Japan. In Europe, production will start shortly in Sunderland in the UK, where the LEAF will be sharing the line with he Qashqai and joining the Note and the Juke.
At the same time, the high-tech lithium-ion batteries are already being produced at a new facility nearby on the Sunderland site.
As well producing no CO2 at the point of use, the lack of tailpipe emissions extends to zero NOx and particulate emissions. All are detrimental to health and many municipalities are working hard to reduce them to avoid EU fines.
The new LEAF, which goes on sale in Europe in the middle of 2013, marks an important milestone in Nissan's global zero-emission leadership. It will soon be joined by pure electric versions of the award-winning NV200, to be called e-NV200, in both light commercial van and seven-seat combi versions. Development is also underway on a dedicated EV taxi based on the e-NV200. An Infiniti EV is expected in 2015.
See our Electric Car Guide video
5.3.2013Electric Land Rover Defender
Land Rover has developed an all-electric Defenderwhich the company says is ‘engineered to deliver zero emissions whilst retaining legendary all-terrain capability’.
There will in fact be seven new electric Defender models at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The research vehicle delivers zero emissions whilst retaining its tough, go-anywhere capability.
The standard diesel engine and gearbox in the 110 Defenders have been replaced by a 70kW (94bhp), 330Nm electric motor twinned with a 300-volt, lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27kWh, giving a range of more than 50 miles. In typical, low speed off-road use it can last for up to eight hours before recharging. The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours, or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours.
The electric vehicles (EVs) retain the Defender’s legendary four-wheel drive system and differential lock. Because the electric motor delivers maximum torque from the moment it starts, there’s no need for gear shifting and the transmission comprises a single speed, 2.7:1 reduction gearbox combined with the existing Defender four-wheel drive system. A modified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response®System has also been incorporated.
The vehicles were developed by Land Rover’s Advanced Engineering Team following successful trials of the Defender-based electric vehicle, Leopard 1. The vehicles’ capability has been tested in extreme and environmentally sensitive conditions, demonstrating capabilities not shared by conventional road-going EVs. Trials included pulling a 12-tonne ‘road train’ up a 13 percent gradient and wading to a depth of 800mm.
In keeping with Land Rover’s ‘Tread Lightly’ philosophy the smooth, low-speed capability of the electric drivetrain makes the electric Defenders especially well suited to climbing obstacles without damaging the ground unnecessarily.
The battery weighs 410kg and is mounted in the front of the Defender in place of the diesel engine. Kerb weight is 100kg more than a basic Defender 110 and ranges from 2055kg to 2162kg depending whether the body style is a pick-up, hard top or station wagon.
All the major components in the electric powertrain - including the battery, inverter and motor - are air-cooled rather than liquid cooled, saving a considerable amount of weight and complexity and adding robustness. Regenerative braking has been optimised to such an extent that using Hill Descent Control, the motor can generate 30kW of electricity. Because the battery technology can be charged very quickly at a rate of up to twice its capacity of 54kW without reducing battery life, almost all of the regenerated energy can be recovered and stored. Up to 80 percent of the kinetic energy in the vehicle can be recovered in this way, depending on conditions.
Although there are no plans for the all-terrain electric Defender to enter series production, the seven EVs will go into service in specialist real world trials later this year.