Renault Says EVs Should Be Able to Drive in Bus Lanes in London

FEB 16 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 3

Much like Californians who get to drive PHEVs and EVs in HOV lanes, Renault UK boss Kenneth Ramirez says a similar EV-owning benefit should be applied in the UK.

BYD ebus Enters Service in London

BYD ebus Enters Service in London

Ramirez suggests that EVs should be able to drive in bus lanes in London.

Like areas of California, London is known for its notoriously high volumes of traffic.  Allowing EVs to drive in bus lanes would be a perk that we suspect Londoners would love.

This perk would certainly drive up sales of EVs in London, but can the bus lanes handle added volume?  Perhaps for awhile, but at some point those lanes too would become so congested that the EV-buying perk would vanish, so a cap would definitely need to be in place.

What Ramirez is actually suggesting is that all major cities in Europe need to examine ways to encourage the use of EVs.  For some cities, this may be bus lane access.  For other cities, perhaps it’s free parking or charging.

In Norway, EV sales benefit from several perks, including EV access to bus lanes, which is obviously where Ramirez got the idea.

Here’s some of what Ramirez stated:

“In London that [bus lane access] would be an interesting approach. In other cities, having legislation that requires new buildings have a dedicated number of parking spaces with charge stations already included.”

“We provide a lot of awareness of technology, awareness of the benefits, but I think the cultural movement, education, always lies with the government.”

“You’ve got to make it easy for people to understand where all the charging points are. Today in London there are more charging points than there are fuel stations, and probably hardly anyone knows that.”

Source: RTCC

Categories: Renault

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3 Comments on "Renault Says EVs Should Be Able to Drive in Bus Lanes in London"

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A slight downside is that bus lanes in London are full of, er, buses.

Perhaps I should expand on that a bit.
The population of Oslo is tiny compared to London, so especially in central areas of London the bus density has to be very high to shift enough people.
If the £10 a day congestion charge exemption is not enough to get people to use electric cars instead of petrol, the £5,000 point of sale subsidy and the extensive network of chargers in London, it is probably not worth doing.

I think Renault should try approaching smaller cities in Europe and the UK, which are on a similar scale to Oslo.
The town I live in, for instance, Bristol, has a metropolitan population of around a million, and Oslo has about a million.
Since there is no congestion charge in Bristol, the use of bus lanes would not only be a considerable perk, but more practical than in London since they are less heavily utilised.
There are a hundred ‘Bristols’ in Europe, but only half or dozen or so ‘Londons’.