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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]

PRESS RELEASES:

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.'

Note:

1. For a list of incentives for electric car owners in London see: http://www.electricparking.com/lists.html



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      * 2. They should have electric cars be half price or something, so it might encourage a switch from gas to electric, rather than public transport to electric. *

      Ridiculous!!! More people would give up public transport to drive, not less. Who's going to pay the significant amount of incentives? Right, the other taxpayers.

      On an EV like the Th!nk, which runs $28K plus $200/month for battery leasing in the UK, you're suggesting 50% off?

      Why not just extend this to 50% off smaller homes or half-off food prices to vegans because meat production uses much more energy and grain?

      Let's just pay people not to watch TV or use air-conditioning when its sweltering. I'll turn off the PC now -- I want my check in the mail.
      • 7 Years Ago
      THIS is what I've been talking about : that
      Big Oil AND their accomplices, the Auto-makers
      WILL pull everry trick in the book ( plus some
      that are NOT in the book ) to keep the public glued to oil-consumption.

      Uuuuh, it's getting dirty...
      Already ? ( I expected sharp knives to come out, but not so soon )

      This is WAR !
      In the words of Chelesa Sexton (you SHOULD know who she is...)
      -: "You have to put pressure on the car makers:
      call them , and say 'I would like to buy your car, but I won't until
      you can offer me an electric or a hybrid !
      We have to vote with our wallets."

      Keep your eyes and ears open : there's more to be expected...

      There's WAY TOO MUCH MONEY TO BE MADE for them to just let go.

      We have to PRESSURE the politicians to
      boldly choose sustainable paths and to
      ENFORCE evolving measures and rules.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they really want more people to use public transit, they need a public transit system people will want to use - one that doesn't require waiting, or transfers, is reliable and available 24/7, is fast and affordable. That means PRT:
      http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/prtquick.htm
      Unfortunately, government transport ministries tend to balk at transit systems that uses fewer employees

      Cancelling a successful program might make sense if it was no longer needed, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, it appears that they don't want EVs to be too successful.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should have electric cars be half price or something, so it might encourage a switch from gas to electric, rather than public transport to electric.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What fuel-shy said. I'm sure there are many economists (or layman) who can calculate what a good incentive level would be. 50 to 60% off sounds fair, off-the bat.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Um...Dad...free parking for electric cars is government intervention too...

      You really should drop the stale anti-government rhetoric and start grappling with what are EFFECTIVE government programs/interventions and what are INEFFECTIVE ones.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This affects only the City of London, which is known as the "square mile" and is the financial district. The Corporation of London who has decided this is effectively an individual London Borough. Hence this does not actually affect London as a whole, and this is not a decision made by the Mayor.
      This really is not a big story! It only affects a few very weathly indivduals who drive into the CBD. Most Londoners don't do this. Other boroughs may well still be continuing free parking for electric vehicles where the more average Londoner would be driving.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "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."

      More idiotic Government interference in our daily lives. Can you imagine what our employers would do to us (assuming we don't for the City of London) if we canceled a program soon after we started it?

      IDIOTS.