RAC Cars News


Cars Beating July's New Congestion Charge Exemption Threshold

By raccars Published

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This month, to the outrage of many, London's congestion charge exemption threshold drops from the 100g/km of CO2 set in 2008, to 75g/km. Any car with emissions figures above that will need to pay £10/ day when entering within the city's inner ring road area between 7am-6pm or risk being fined £130.

Many motorists have carefully invested in cars emitting below 100g/km in CO2 specifically to beat the charge, but will now find these simply do not cut it. Here are some of the best of the limited alternative options.

Citroen C-Zero / Mitsubishi i-Miev / Peugeot iOn

This badge engineered trio all ride upon a small Mitsubishi chassis and have all the properties of the ideal city car: good visibility, compact size and a tiny turning circle. Electric motor assistance is helpful in the city with a claimed 93 mile range, but pointless outside it. 0g/km in CO2 and priced between £25,486 and£28,990.

Nissan Leaf

The market leader offers a 124 mile range and quick recharging times, along with the feel and equipment levels of a traditional combustion engine car. 0g/km in CO2 for £25,990.

Renault Twizy

The £6,795 price tag and unusual looks of the Twizy make it clear from the start that this vehicle is slightly different from the competition, officially filling the category of quadricycle, instead of car. Strictly for city use, it comes with a 50 mile range and 50mph top speed and is devoid of luxuries such as heating or a radio – and even windows and doors, which are offered as options! However, it is good fun and emits 0g/km in CO2.

Renault Fluence

Another part of Renault's four part electric vehicle range, the Fluence saloon is speedy around the city but has a limited top speed of 84mph. The driving range is a useful 125 miles and it costs under £3 to reach full charge. Priced from £17,495.

Renault Zoe

The supermini entry into Renault's electric line up, good looking but rather ponderous at 13.5 seconds to 62mph. It handles quite well but is heavy and the alleged 130 mile range is hard to achieve in reality. Prices start at £17,793.

Smart ED

The £15,395 new Smart is a distinct improvement over previous models. You'll get 60 miles out of a full battery charge, which costs only £1. With 40bhp to drive its miniscule 140kg weight, the Smart is still far from speedy, but it beetles conveniently around the city.

Consider also the award winning Chevrolet Volt / Vauxhall Ampera, Volvo V60 Plug In Hybrid or the more interesting 71g/km emitting Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.

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