Electric car discovery day inspires ideas of cleaner transport

A Richmond councillor advocated the use of electric cars as a cheaper mode of transport as Richmond residents were invited to try the vehicles as a way of reducing fuel emissions.

Cllr Seamus Joyce was speaking at an electric car discovery day at Richmond Athletic Grounds on Saturday June 9, featuring cars from Nissan, Renault, BMW and Tesla.

Octopus Electric Vehicles, a start up from the energy supplier Octopus Energy, put on the event for people to view the cars, talk to their experts and book in test drives.

The shadow spokesperson for transport, street scene and air quality said: “I’m amazed how much electric cars have come down in price, because I always felt they were a little bit out of my price range.

“But I was quite surprised this morning – when you take into your fuel costs, it’s actually in a roundabout way cheaper to have an electric car in 2018.”

Their summer tour of discovery days started in Richmond, because of recent activity around electric vehicles in the borough, including 200 charging points being installed in the last two years.

Octopus Electric Vehicles CEO Fiona Howarth said: “About a year ago when I started doing this I just couldn’t believe how good [electric cars] had  become.

“They go on average about 150 miles on one charge, sometimes up to 250 miles, they are really fun to drive and they’re really affordable now.”

Electric cars have been growing in popularity as a more environmentally friendly alternative to petrol or diesel cars.

There are 40,000 deaths a year due to air pollution in the UK and a 10% reduction in lung capacity in eight and nine-year old children who live in cities with high levels of fumes from diesel cars.


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