The London Borough of Camden is launching a new electric vehicle trial scheme to give local businesses the chance to try out electric motoring.
After realising a reluctance in businesses to invest in unfamiliar technology, Camden council in partnership with a number of electric vehicle makers, is offering local businesses a free two-week electric vehicle trial to encourage more companies to make the switch to zero emission cars and vans.
Vehicles currently available include a Nissan LEAF, Tata Ace EV Mini Truck, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Renault Kangoo Van ZE, with more vehicles due to be added as they become available.
To launch the project for Camden, comedienne and Camden resident Victoria Wood tested out an electric Nissan LEAF. Meanwhile other Camden celebrities - author Ben Elton and actor Derek Jacobi – have also shown their support for the trials.
Following her trial Victoria Wood said: “Electric cars are a great idea and I was really interested to see what it would be like to drive, especially as I have started to recognise what a problem air quality in London can be. Going electric took a bit of getting used to as it was completely silent but overall, the electric car was really nice to drive. It quickly felt just like a real car as I nipped about and it is so much better for the environment and improving air quality.”
Ben Elton said: "I often notice the polluted air in central London and think that schemes like this - which help to encourage businesses to adopt new cleaner and greener vehicles - are a really fantastic way to make London a nicer and healthier place to live. Electric vehicles make so much sense in London, with zero tailpipe emissions and being easy to drive, before long they're going to make other cars look really old fashioned."
Derek Jacobi said: "It's great that Camden is working in partnership with these manufacturers to help local businesses try these cleaner and greener vehicles for themselves. It sounds like a really innovative and exciting project which will help to make London's air much healthier and more pleasant."
Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Transport Cllr Sean Birch, said: “Electric cars are a very important and practical way to improve air quality. Camden is the perfect location for electric car use and we want to get as many businesses as possible to take up electric, reduce the use of polluting petrol and diesel and protect the environment for us and future generations.”
Businesses will have the chance to learn about the advantages of electric vehicles which includes clean, quiet operation, exemption from London Congestion Charge, tax breaks for company car drivers, qualification for a 100 per cent first-year capital allowance, extremely low running costs, reduced parking charges and a £5000 government incentive towards purchase.
Local Camden business can book a trial by calling 0207 974 2260 or emailing email@example.com.
And it’s not just businesses that will benefit - early next year Camden Council plans to organise a day where residents can test drive electric vehicles. Camden also has 29 on-street electric charging points. For more information and a map go to Camden.gov.uk/greentravel
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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