September 8, 2011 Leave a comment
Whilst undertaking official launch duties today at EcoVelocity, London Mayor Boris Johnson swapped his usual pedal power for an equally emission-free mode of transport today, as he test drove Renault’s 100% electric Fluence Z.E. saloon to lead the opening parade.
The Mayor led a pack of electric and low-carbon vehicles around the green motoring festival’s dedicated test circuit in the UK’s most affordable electric car, Renault’s stylish, five-seat Fluence Z.E as it made its UK public show debut. The Mayor Boris Johnson was at the event promoting his Source London network of charge points and membership scheme. Source London is the capital’s charging network boasting 200 points and with plans for 1300 by 2013. The Mayor also announced that EcoVelocity customers would receive a discount £10 Source London membership rate over the course of the event, saving £90.
Mayor Boris Johnson, said: ‘I was delighted to try out one of Renault’s electric vehicles and glide it silently around the EcoVelocity test track. Trying out cutting edge vehicle technology is what Europe’s largest green car show is all about. To help people opt for a greener motor, my Source London electric charge point scheme is being showcased here too.’
During his tour of the show, Boris also spoke to Renault UK’s Managing Director, Thierry Sybord, on the company’s plans to support his electric vehicle vision with its four-strong family of electric vehicles for the capital and the rest of the country for the next 12 months, as well as get his first look at the French marque’s unique Twizy.
The ideal solution for inner city and suburban eco-driving, not to mention parking, Twizy features two seats, one behind the other, a range of up to 62 miles on a single charge, and costs from only £6,690 including VAT. Its monthly battery hire cost is £40 including VAT for a three year and 4,500 miles per year agreement.
EcoVelocity is a four-day event being held at Battersea Power Station in London to enable the general public to get behind the wheel of a variety of ecological cars all in one place. While they are there, visitors will get to look around static display vehicles such as Renault’s own Fluence Z.E. saloon and Kangoo Van Z.E., the world’s first electric van produced by a mass-market manufacturer, as well as drive them around the show’s dedicated 0.8 mile long test circuit.
The Fluence Z.E. is a four-door saloon that goes on sale in the UK during the first half of 2012, priced from only £17,850 on-the-road, after the deduction of the £5,000 Plug-In Car Grant. Renault’s innovative strategy of allowing its Z.E. owners to hire the lithium-ion battery to keep the upfront cost of its products as affordable to all as possible is already being well received. The idea removes any anxiety over battery longevity and replacement cost, and in the case of Fluence Z.E. means a monthly hire cost of £69.60 per month including VAT, based on 9,000 miles per year and a three-year agreement.
It’s the first electric medium-sized production saloon and has already caught the imagination of drivers who want the practicality and looks of a traditional car, while running a vehicle that’s economical and environmentally-friendly.
At the same time, Renault has received many pre-orders for the Kangoo Van Z.E. as it has the same carrying capacity (ranging from 3 to 3.5m3), the same payload (650kg) and the same high standard of comfort as the ICE version.
Thierry Sybord said: “As the manufacturer of the first complete range of EVs, we’re naturally delighted that Boris Johnson and Source London took such an interest in our products and chose Fluence Z.E. to open the show. Both are passionate supporters of greener transport for a cleaner and healthier London, so it was wonderful to see the Mayor enjoying his drive of Fluence Z.E. so much. Who knows, maybe we can tempt him to swap his bike for a Twizy in the not too distant future. We’ve already had a huge amount of interest from customers in our range of electric vehicles and look forward to even more after this positive endorsement, including the next few days at EcoVelocity itself.”