The Low Carbon London Project has provided brand new Nissan Leafs to 25 individuals as a part of its electric vehicle (EV) lease scheme. The individuals involved picked up their Leafs at Nissan’s UK headquarters in Maple Cross, Hertfordshire and will be providing pertinent information regarding their experiences during the one year trial.
An additional set of 25 Leafs have been put aside for company fleets, which will provide further experiential information in addition to corporate cost saving analysis. The company leases will be for two years. Electric vehicles are also eligible for standard insurance, from companies like Aviva.
The Low Carbon London Project, run by UK Power Networks, is an extension of EV trials across the Greater London Area and its surrounds to better understand the impact of low carbon technologies on the electricity network, which would in turn help with the design and development of those networks. The multi-million pound program is supported in part by the Low Carbon Network Fund, which is in turn funded by Ofgem, the energy industry regulator. The project also receives funding from the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and the Institute for Sustainability.
The Leafs have gone to people and companies who will be driving and recharging within the M25. As a part of the program, the individuals and the companies will receive a free charging unit at their chosen location and access to Source London – the EV charging network with over 1300 charging points across the capital area.
In particular, the project will provide vital information on running electric vehicles and “the resulting impact it has on both electricity distributors and us, as manufacturers,” according to Barry Beeston, corporate sales director for Nissan. Beeston sees the Leafs as ideal for the trial, with a range of 100 miles and costing just £2.30 to fully charge, and predicts they will “turn all 50 drivers into strong advocates of electric vehicles, especially around large urban areas such as London.”
Michael Clark, interim Low Carbon London program director, noted that they “will be monitoring the drivers’ charging behavior and using that to model the type of electricity network that will be needed to support larger numbers of electric vehicles.” He added that “the aim of the project is to ensure the electricity network supports the transition to low carbon transport.”