Nissan Leafs replace black cabs in LondonEnlarge Photo
Let's play a word-association game. If we say "London", what do you think of?
If you've not visited yourself and experienced the city's varied culture, chances are your first three answers would be "Big Ben", "red buses" and "black cabs".
While the former is firmly rooted, the other two are common sights across the city. And while the buses are already going hybrid, the latter is being supplemented with a fleet of all-electric Nissan Leafs this weekend, June 23 and 24.
By sending a message on Twitter ('Tweeting') incorporating the hashtag "#6XCHEAPER" and your chosen destination, you could get a ride to that destination in one of the Leafs.
And why 6XCHEAPER? Because that's how much less it costs to drive a mile in the Leaf, compared to a normal car. A drive from central London to Heathrow Airport at the city limits would cost £1.68 ($2.62 at current exchange rates) in a gasoline-powered car, but only 28 pence (43 cents) in the Leaf.
It's not just the recharging cost that's relevant either.
In the UK, where every car is subject to road tax based on carbon dioxide emissions, the Leaf is tax-free. Likewise, it escapes London's congestion charging scheme, which costs motorists £8 ($12.46) every day they travel into central London--so vehicles like the Leaf can save regular city-goers thousands of dollars per year.
The exercise is part of Nissan's 'The Big Turn On' scheme in Europe, aiming to get one million consumers switched on to electric cars in only 100 days. Nissan already beat that target on June 20, 18 days ahead of schedule.
As we all know, the best way of getting people interested in electric cars is for them to experience it--so Nissan's scheme could prove fruitful in that regard. It's certainly something that Nissan should consider in cities across the U.S.
London: Big Ben, hybrid buses and electric taxis? We can only hope.