In the same week that the British government is set to release a renewable energy strategy which will tout the benefits of increasing the usage of electric cars comes the news that the City of London is about to end its "free parking for electric cars" program. Apparently the feeling is that it has been successful and it is now possible to spot the odd electric vehicle (EV) on London streets. So what's the problem? The city is "...concerned that the free parking has encouraged car use instead of the use of public transport, walking and cycling and does not consider this to be desirable in the highly congested traffic conditions prevailing in the City." Um, okay. Now, you might not think that it's such a big deal until you learn how much it costs to park in London.Try around £7000 ($13,784.51) a year.You can almost buy a new G-Wiz i for that kind of quid!
NICE Car Company, which recently sang the praises of newly-elected Mayor Boris Johnson and his pro-electric stance, has called the rationale behind the decision "plain daft" as well as "barmy". In a press release discussing the issue, NICE co-founder Julian Wilford stated, "Car makers are moving mountains to bring electric models to market, but we have cars on sale now. Removing this incentive creates uncertainty at a time when consumers need clear, long-term signals on the benefits of clean, electric motoring. The City's approach is the worst kind of green wash." Hit the jump to read the notice received by current permit holders as well as the press release from NICE. Thanks to Simon P. for the tip!
[Sources: NICE / Autocar]
Dear Sir or Madam
Electric Vehicle Parking Concessions In The City Of London
I write to advise you that the Court of Common Council has now determined the City Corporation's trial provision of free parking for electric vehicles. The trial has proved very successful in encouraging the use of electric vehicles and these vehicles are now a common sight in the City of London and regular users of the City Corporation's off-street public car parks. The City Corporation is, however, concerned that the free parking has encouraged car use instead of the use of public transport, walking and cycling and does not consider this to be desirable in the highly congested traffic conditions prevailing in the City. As a result the parking concessions for electric vehicles are now no longer available to new applicants. For existing holders of on-street electric vehicle permits and season tickets for electric vehicles for the City Corporation's off-street public car parks the following transitional arrangements are in place:-
On-Street Electric Vehicle Permits
Existing 2007 on-street electric vehilce permits will be valid until 31 December 2008. For 2009 and subsequent years existing permit holders will continue [to] be eligible to receive and use permits for their electric vehicle upon payment of an annual administration fee of £50. Application forms for permits for 2009 will be sent out to those wishing to receive them towards the end of the year.
Season Tickets for Off-Street Public Car Parks
Existing season tickets for electric vehicles will be valid until their expiry date of 31 December 2008. For 2009 existing season ticket holders will be able to purchase a season ticket for the public car park of their choice at a reduiced price of £2,000. For 2010 the price will rise to £4,000 and for 2011 the standard price for the relevant public car park will be charged. Residents of the City of London will, however, continue to receive an additional discount during the transitional period. For 2009 existing season ticket holders who are City residents will be able to purchase a season ticket for the public car park nearest to their residence at a reduced price of £250. For 2010 the price will rise to £500 and for 2011 the standard price for season tickets for City residents will be charged. Application forms for season tickets for 2009 will be sent out to those wishing to receive them towards the end of the year. If you consider that you may wish to purchase an on-street electric vehicle permit and/or a season ticket for 2009, please complete and return the short form below so that the correct application form(s) can be sent to you closer to the time.
Yours faithfully [incumbent name]
Assistant Traffic Manager (Off Street Parking)
Traffic Management Office [enclosed: Request form for the following application forms: On street parking permit, Commercial car park season ticket, Residents car park season ticket.]
City's U-turn on free parking for electric cars is barmy, says NICE Car Company
News that the City of London is to end free parking for electric vehicles because the scheme has become 'too successful' has been branded barmy by electric car company NICE. The U-turn comes in the week government is expected to publish its renewable energy strategy, which will point to the benefits of boosting the market for electric vehicles.
'The reasons for scrapping this incentive are plain daft,' said NICE co-founder Julian Wilford. 'The City's Department of Environmental Services has said that free parking encourages people to use electric cars; surely that's the point?
'Electric cars emit no air quality pollutants or carbon dioxide; they are far cleaner than conventional cars, buses and taxis. We think the City's decision has nothing to do with improving the environment and everything to do with short-term financial gain.'
The NICE Car Company has welcomed moves by forward-thinking authorities like Westminster Council. Working with EDF, the Energy Saving Trust and Transport for London, Westminster recently introduced 10 new 'juice points' across the borough. These are on-street recharging sockets for electric cars like the NICE Mega City.
More local authorities are now following Westminster's lead, offering incentives like residents' parking concessions and free re-charging facilities.1 The City is the first to introduce a concession - and then scrap it.
'Car makers are moving mountains to bring electric models to market, but we have cars on sale now,' added Wilford. 'Removing this incentive creates uncertainty at a time when consumers need clear, long-term signals on the benefits of clean, electric motoring. The City's approach is the worst kind of green wash.'
1. For a list of incentives for electric car owners in London see: http://www.electricparking.com/lists.html