A fleet of zero-emission Nissan LEAFs will be driving around London on the 23rd and 24th June, offering free taxi rides. To grab a ride, all a prospective passenger has to do is send a Tweet that incorporates the hashtag “#6XCHEAPER” and their chosen destination. Nissan is also using the activity to gather consumer feedback on a potential taxi of the future.
The use of Twitter is an integral part of Nissan’s ambitious campaign, “The Big Turn On”, which is spreading the EV message via social media channels.
The #6XCHEAPER tag emphasizes that fueling an electric vehicle is six times cheaper in the UK than a similar sized gasoline car. Using off-peak electricity, Nissan estimates it costs just 1.75 pence in fuel to travel one mile in a Nissan LEAF, but more than 10 pence per mile in a conventional car. (Calculations are based on a national average of British Gas Economy 7 rates as at 12 January 2012, assuming 7 hours of charging overnight at the night rate and 1 hour in the daytime charged at the Tier-2 daytime rate. A 109 mile charge range, 95% charging efficiency.
A trip from central London to Heathrow Airport, for example, would cost the Nissan LEAF driver a mere 28 pence in electricity whereas the driver of a gasoline-powered car would be forking out £1.68 in fuel. A trip to Oxford—at approximately 60 miles, within the car’s range—would cost the Nissan LEAF driver less than £1 in fuel, but would cost the driver of a conventional car almost £6.
Because it produces zero emissions, Nissan LEAF is exempt from London’s congestion charge and attracts no annual vehicle excise duty.
The fleet of Nissan LEAF EVs will be based at their very own “taxi rank'” at the Truman Brewery, near Liverpool St Station and will be giving free rides to destinations across London—as far west as Turnham Green or to the O2 Arena in the east. The Nissan LEAF cabs will go south of the river as far as Clapham and as far north as Hampstead. They will be operating from 10am to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday and driven by professional drivers from car service operator, Climate Cars.
All Tweets sent with the ‘#6XCHEAPER' hashtag will be monitored and winners of the free rides chosen at random to avoid queues. Each journey will be logged and passengers shown just how much they would save in fuel costs by going electric.