#15in15 commitment 6: electric cars and wheeladealing (turning over a new Leaf)
Jaya Chakrabarti MBE
Vice President – Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative
Not wanting to do things by halves I wanted to see if I could go beyond just buying a new car for just us (which, payments aside, is the easy bit). I wanted to see what the barriers were to families like ours with school drops and shopping trips to do weekly. I don’t believe that JUST making parking more expensive in city centres will mean families will drive less. Cheap affordable public transport is one way but school drops mean delivering safely to the door and parents who then also need to rush off to work directly afterwards aren’t left with much choice but to drive in and pay the price.
I would personally like to see free parking for electric cars in the city combined with affordable monthly payments equivalent to the petrol spend in a month for an average family. The barriers start tumbling down once we hit that biting point (sorry, I’m a metaphor addict) and we can then find a way to drive REAL change which will not only reduce petrol consumption and costs for families but also improve air quality. James Durie, being an early adopter and a do-stuff leader, had already bought a Nissan Leaf so I’m pretty confident we can make the leap into an electric vehicle….
So Nina Skubala, James Durie and I had a conversation. We know that large companies get special deals from dealers on such things and started talking to them to see how we could shift the balance for smaller companies unable to negotiating a better bargaining position. We then had a chat with Russell Higgins and Clare Collings at Nissan, the market leaders in family-affordable electric cars, and passionate about sustainable transport. The result? Significantly cheaper monthly payments for Nissan Leafs (leaves??). By promoting this within the membership we’ll soon have many more Leaves on the roads, and they only thing being swept away will be the polluted air!
We hope to officially launch the scheme in February and will ensure there’s a demo day. We’ll be the first to use the scheme. If you want your employees to have the same benefit then if you’re members of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative then show your membership details (usually a letter from your employer whose logo will need to be on the Initiative members section of the site) to the dealers and you’ll get the same discount. Hurray for membership and the awesome network of James D!