- VEHICLES & DRIVERS
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It is good to read that people are having good experiences with the Technology Strategy Board's trial for EV's. As part of this Smart has some on loan with various people, including Eco-stylista Livia Firth of Eco Age in Chiswick. She has blogged on Vogue.com UK regards her positive time with an eletric Smart Fortwo- good news for Smart! BTW the shop is a mecca for fab sustainable items for you and your home so do check it out when you have a chance! Items are available online as well. The have a great site full of info an many thing under the sustainable/ eco umbrella and are up for an award for Green contribution for London- see the site for info: http://www.eco-age.com/home
< href="http://www.eco-rally.org/lucy-siegle-tv-presenter-journalist">Lucy Siegle of The One Show and Observer /Guardian fame, plus two-time eco-rally participant has been along for a test ride and the two women look pretty happy in the photos! Again- good news for Smart! Note- one of the photo's is of Livia with her co-owner brother Nicola not Lucy!!
Here is an extract from her article on Vogue.com UK:
"Ordinarily I don't get too excited by cars. But then I was loaned the cutest, fully-electric Smart car you've ever seen. And just to increase its appeal, this model is branded with our own beloved Eco Age logo (my eco shop and consultancy in Chiswick, West London). This is the Smart Fortwo electric and I'm lucky enough to be one of the consumers testing it out. I'll let you know how I get on, but so far so good.
It certainly gets a lot of attention. Here are some shots of it sitting proudly to the side of Eco Age in Chiswick. When the police pulled over I thought they were going to tell me off for parking there while I took some photos, but no - they were just intrigued and wanted to know more about electric cars. We also had a very long chat with the (lovely) traffic warden in the car park next door because there was some ambivalence as to whether we needed a permit or to buy a ticket. "Perhaps it's exempt because it's electric?" I suggested hopefully. After many phone calls back to his office he decided we weren't. Oh well. I've also had a constant stream of friends who want to have a go. Here's Lucy Siegle of the Observer having a test drive.
To charge, you just flip open the cap and plug into the mains. There are charging points popping up all over London. It has a potential range of 84 miles before charges, and, as Professor Julia King comments, "97 per cent of our journeys in the UK are under 50 miles". So I needn't worry about running out of juice.
How green is the Fortwo? How green are electric vehicles? Well, let's face it they are not zero carbon. The electricity it uses to charge them has to come from somewhere and, at the moment, our electricity in the UK is predominantly from coal fired power stations. However, the studies that show the emissions to be less than running a car on normal fuel (ie petrol) are compelling, and this is about normalising this technology; eventually it won't be weird to see electric cars buzzing about towns and cities. Ultimately they will plug into a clean or cleaner grid that's predicated on renewable energy rather than fossil fuel. It helps to drive technology and thinking along.
On a more humdrum note - the boot is surprisingly spacious. I decided to get in there with my brother, Nicola, to test it out. You might also recognise the handbag - it's the Livia bag I designed for MADE, retailed through Whistles. Listen to me! Logo-ed car, eponymous handbag in the boot - I'm scaring myself. Don't worry I'm going to stop now. But please give me a wave if you see me whizzing (read: driving safely and carefully), around London and I'd be interested to hear your views on electric cars. I've been told there are now charging points in Bristol and Manchester, anywhere else? Anyone else gone electric?"
Well, a few of us are, Livia, and articles /blogs like this help get the word out to would-be converts so thanks and keep up the good work!