In order to improve air quality in the London downtown district, legislators “encourage” drivers to choose cleaner transportation by imposing a daily Congestion Charge for any vehicles driven downtown that exceed 100g/km CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions. Vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Ampera [Chevy Volt] easily beat that requirement.
Even other low-emissions models, like the Toyota Prius, Smart ForTwo, and Fiat 500 TwinAir could be driven in the downtown area while avoiding the Congestion Charge, which amounts to £10 [≈$15], that is, until London tightened the belt a little more. The new London Congestion Charge kicks in if vehicles exceed the new standard of 75g/km CO2, which means that Prius, ForTwo, and 500 no longer qualify for free admission.
Realizing this great opportunity to show off the ultra-low emissions of the Nissan Leaf, Nissan has been touring a dumpster with the words “Skip the Congestion Charge” written on the sides. What’s in the dumpster? Toyota Prius, Smart ForTwo, and Fiat 500 TwinAir! Who would ever have imagined the Toyota Prius being labeled as a dirty car? As clean as the Nissan Leaf is, I can see how they might think that, especially with the new Congestion Charge legislation in London.
Why would you want to choose Nissan Leaf in London? First, at $15/day paying the congestion charge, drivers could rack up a significant amount of savings by switching to electric drive. Put another way, Nissan Leaf drivers can get 500mi out of a single day’s Congestion Charge! Second, London has more than 1,300 public-access electric vehicle [EV] charging stations, more than anywhere in the EU.
Great point, Nissan Leaf, but did you have to put my Prius in a dumpster to prove it? Still, you could always opt for any number of other qualifying vehicles, including the Toyota Prius Plug-In, Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid, and Renault EVs.