All posts by Jo Pegram-Mills

RENAULT ZOE ERALLY CAR MAKES IMPRESSIVE COMPETITIVE DEBUT

THE UK’s unique eRally car, the all-electric Renault Zoe, has successfully completed its first competitve outing.

Marshals gave the Zoe, based at Knockhill , a standing ovation at the end of the Adgespeed Rally run by the Wigan & District Motor Club.

The fully electric junior rally car competed in all stages against traditionally powered cars after the Motor Sports Association was satisfied that its rally specification complied with safety regulations.

The only difference between the eRally car, which has 65kW (88bhp), and the road-ready Renault Zoe are the GAZ adjustable dampers to improve the car’s handling. eRally co-founder Tristan Dodd said: “This is the first time a purely electric car has competed in a UK stage rally.”

The Zoe competed in a class of its own at the rally over 12 stages, driven by British Rally Championship contender Cameron Davies.

Ellya Gold, the driving force behind the project to create an all-electric rally car, said: “We wanted someone who could do the car justice out there against more powerful petrol rally cars and we had full confidence that Cameron could show what the car can do without risking a good result.”

Scottish junior rally driver Andrew Blackwood was beside him as co-driver. The eRally Zoe is aimed at bringing new, young drivers into the sport, given its unique drivetrain and environmental credentials.

Read more Daily Record via Fuel Included

 

ON THE BRINK OF ELECTRIC REVOLUTION WITH THE RENAULT ZOE

It is no exaggeration to say that I loved the Renault Zoe – and since I drove it at Mallon Motors a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been gabbing to anyone willing to listen that it is the most impressive thing I’ve driven in ages.

Scratch that, obviously the most impressive thing I’ve driven in recent times is the BMW M4, but that was in Mondello and I was wearing a crash helmet. You get the picture.

But the Zoe is different. We’re at a turning point in history – for the first time, despite all the science fiction talk over the past several decades, we’re actually finally at a point where we might actually be on the brink of saying goodbye to the internal combustion engine.

Those who can see into the future say that it will happen suddenly, literally overnight.

Tumbleweed will blow across once vibrant petrol station forecourts.

Nissan/Renault are the first major car company which have brought genuine electric vehicles to the masses.

Tesla may get all the plaudits, but the Nissan Leaf is the first everyday/every(wo)man electric car out there.

And now Nissan’s stablemate, Renault, is pushing its own, the Zoe.

Before I sat into the Zoe I’d never driven a full electric car, and wasn’t sure what to expect.

I had high expectations for my impact on the environment (there would be none), but either low, or no expectations for any other bit of it.

And that’s where I was gloriously wrong. The Zoe was good looking, comfortable and fun to drive.

Electric cars have great torque because the power in them isn’t gradual.

It’s like a light bulb – it’s either on, or off, so the torque is immediate. There’s no lag waiting for the turbo to kick in.

The Zoe I was driving said that I had 210kms in the full battery, but every time you slow down or brake, it’s regenerating the battery, so much so that although I did 18kms in the car, the battery only registered a loss of 13kms. Who’d have thought that stopping at traffic lights would be so rewarding!

The Zoe is Clio/Polo/Fiesta sized, although it is particularly notable how it doesn’t drive like a small car. It’s solid on the road – to such a degree that, notwithstanding the electric element, it’s easily a better car than many similarly sized offerings out there.

Read more: Leinster Leader via Fuel Included

FIRST LOW EMISSION ZONE PLANNED FOR GLASGOW

Glasgow is expected to introduce Scotland’s first low emission zone (LEZ) by the end of next year.

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation into what it might involve.

The document says: “The Scottish Government’s preference would be a road access restriction scheme for LEZs.”

This is where vehicles that do not meet emission standards (or are not exempt) would incur a penalty if they entered a LEZ.

Possible penalty levels were not included in the document, but it said it would be “proportionally higher” than in LEZs in other countries where drivers of vehicles not meeting emission standards were charged less than £20 a day.

The proposed standards are Euro 4 petrol engines, introduced in 2005, and Euro 6 diesel engines for cars, taxis and vans, introduced in 2014.

Bus and lorry engines would have to be Euro VI standard, and motorbikes Euro 3.

The zones would operate round the clock and be enforced using cameras recording vehicle number plates.

There could be exemptions for blue bade holders, emergency vehicles, bin lorries, and night shift workers travelling when no public transport was available.
Edinburgh, along with Aberdeen and Dundee, could follow by Glasgow’s lead, with low emission zones introduced by 2020.

Read more: FleetNews via Fuel Included

T-CHARGE: NEW LONDON TRAFFIC CHARGE COMES INTO FORCE

Drivers of older, more polluting vehicles now have to pay almost twice as much to drive in central London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £10 T-Charge, which mainly applies to diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006, has come into force.

It covers the same area as the existing congestion charge zone, bumping up the cost to £21.50 for those affected.

Opponents said the scheme would “disproportionately penalise London’s poorest drivers”.

The measure is the latest attempt by Mr Khan to improve air quality in the capital and, according to the mayor’s office, will affect 34,000 motorists a month.

Speaking on the Today programme, Mr Khan said: “We’ve got a health crisis in London caused by the poor quality air.

“Roughly speaking each year more than 9,000 Londoners die prematurely because of the poor quality air – children in our city whose lungs are underdeveloped, with adults who suffer from conditions such as asthma, dementia and strokes directly caused by poor quality air.”

Read more: BBC via Fuel Included