All The Plug-Ins That Beat London’s New Congestion Charge Threshold
A few days ago we put out a report that London was reducing the congestion threshold to 75 g/km (grams per kilometer of carbon dioxide), down from 100 g/km, in central London’s Congestion Charge Zone.
This was primarily done to disqualify, and thereby discourage the proliferation of higher polluting diesel cars (about 22 times more particulate matter of equivalent gas cars).
Over the past 10 years diesels have gone from 1 in 10 vehicles on the road, to 1 in 2, due to low carbon incentives that made them attractive to UK buyers.
An unfortunate side effect was that it also practically disqualified everything else on the road that did not have a plug, Toyota Prius included. A result which, even though we love all cars with plug, seems a touch drastic at this point in time.
Those vehicles not exempt are now faced with a £10 per work-day fee, if they choose to enter the zone; with the long-term plan in London (around 2020) to only allow plug-in vehicles inside.
So what cars currently available to purchase in Britain still qualify? Autocar in the UK has put out a list to help us out with that:
- Chevrolet Volt/Vauxhall Ampera – the GM siblings are both rated at just 27g/km
- Citroën C-Zero/Peugeot iOn/Mitsubishi i-MiEV – the i-MiEV, and the other two cars built by Mitsu, are all electric, and get a pass
- Nissan Leaf – rated at a even more optimistic 124 mile all-electric range on the NEDC system for 2013, the LEAF is exempt
- Renault Fluence – the first fully electric car from Renault (which now struggles for a reason to still be offered), lacks a tailpipe and therefore gets a few pass in Central London
- Renault Twizy – cheap, cheap, cheap; and by that we mean inexpensive, at around £6,500 for 40 miles of all-electric fun…provided it is a nice day outside, and you are by yourself
- Renault Zoe – the new gold standard for EV ownership in Europe will obviously also avoid the £10/day charge, as the feature laden, 130 mile-NEDC rated (90ish mile US) is offered for less than £14,000 ($21,500 USD) with a £70/month battery lease
- Toyota Prius Plug-In – while the standard Prius at 89g/km is now on the outs in central London, the 11 miles of all-electric, extended range in the Toyota with a plug drops that number to 49g/km. Too bad the PIP starts at a whopping £27,895 ($43,000USD)
- Tesla Roadster – Autocar reports there is still some of the two-seat, £86,950 ($134,000) Teslas left to be sold in Britain, so here it is
- Tesla Model S – some 8,000 European delivers are scheduled to begin in about 2 months, many of them are for the UK, none will face the fee
- Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid – the Volvo puts out a rating equal to that of the plug-in Prius at 49g/km of CO2, but also puts out near 300 bhp, and hits 62 mph in under 6 seconds. Prices start at £43,775 ($67,500 USD) in the UK