UK media attention was drawn to the Greenfleet event in Edinburgh on 25 April, possibly by the opportunity to test drive Tesla’s Model S electric vehicle (EV), a premium car that has had little airing in the UK to date.
The high performance EV – capable of accelerating to 60mph in 4.2s – was on show alongside BMW’s new i8 EV and its smaller i3 EV, the latter of which was also available to drive.
Ian Murdoch of Energy Saving Trust Scotland commented that the show’s expansion – now a 2-day event for the first time in its 6-year history – mirrors the progress being made with EVs in Scotland. His own organisation is making available a number of interest-free low carbon transport loans to support investment in EV and hybrids, worth up to £50k (see www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/)
A parallel seminar stream included talks on the business case for EV and hybrid vehicles. Dave Young, proprietor of Dundee Taxis, gave a packed seminar presentation about his own company’s adoption of EVs. The firm has just replaced 30 Skoda Octavios with the same number of Nissan Leafs, with plans to have over a hundred models of the vehicle – said to be the best-selling car in Norway in 2013 – by next year.
“Dundee is not the biggest city, but it has more rapid chargers installed than London just now,” he said. And EVs are perfect for taxis because most of their work is in the city, where the air pollution is.
A theme explored at the show was the extent to which driving style influences fuel efficiency and vehicle performance, whether it’s an EV or a conventional car. The Fuel Efficient Driving Experience (FEDEx) challenged 10 teams to take a selfie at several checkpoints around Edinburgh in identical Peugot 208s, being scored by the RAC on things like fuel efficiency.
For more on EVs: See our survey of EV technology and its adoption to date.