Free Nissan LEAF taxi rides for Londoners

Hail a LEAF for a free taxi trip in London this weekend, via Twitter

By Farah Alkhalisi on June 22, 2012 4:02 PM

A fleet of Nissan LEAF electric cars is on standby this weekend (23rd/24th June) to give free taxi rides to Twitter users.

The cars will be based at the Truman Brewery, near Brick Lane and Liverpool Street station and driven by professionals from the Climate Cars service. They’ll will travel as far west as Turnham Green, as far east as the O2 Arena in the Docklands, north as far as Hampstead and will even venture south of the river, as far as Clapham.

To hail one is tweet using the hashtag #6XCHEAPER and your destination (leaving from the Truman Brewery). The cars will be available 10am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday, and participants will be chosen from random from their tweets to avoid queues.

Nissan will be gathering feedback from this activity to inform them “on a potential taxi of the future” (electric NV200s, anyone?), as well as promoting the LEAF; each journey will be logged, and the passengers told how much money they would have saved on fuel.

The #6xCHEAPER hashtag refers to Nissan’s calculation that ‘fuelling’ an electric vehicle is six times cheaper than using petrol. Travelling one mile in a LEAF costs just 1.75p, it claims (based on an average British Gas Economy 7 rate, charging seven hours overnight and one in the daytime), compared to over 10p a mile in a similarly-sized conventional car.

According to Nissan’s calculations, driving from central London to Heathrow Airport would cost 28p in electricity but £1.68 in petrol, and a 60-mile trip to Oxford less than £1 in electricity but nearly £6 in petrol. Nissan also points out that the LEAF is exempt from the London congestion charge as well as annual vehicle excise duty (road tax).

“This is part of a campaign designed to get people to turn on to 100% electric driving by busting many of the myths and highlighting the many benefits of electric cars, including incredibly low fuel costs”, says Jim Wright, managing director of Nissan GB. “By offering free taxi rides, we aim to show hundreds of people just how practical and affordable the Nissan LEAF is to run. As each journey costs us so little, we’re not charging passengers - there’s no point quibbling over a few pence.”

More information is at www.nissan.co.uk/thebigturnon, @nissanleafuk on Twitter and NissanLEAFUK on Facebook. The Big Turn On campaign will see the most ‘turned-on’ city (the one from which the most people have clicked to pledge their support) receive 30 quick-charge electric vehicle recharging points from Nissan – and the individual social media ‘influencer’ who has encouraged the most people to pledge will win a LEAF.