Giving electric vehicles a go

Drivers are being encouraged to give electric vehicles (EVs) a go by booking a test drive and the chance to win a new high-tech car for a year.

Charge your Car (CYC), the region’s Plugged in Places scheme – one of the organisations tasked with delivering the region’s low-carbon vehicle agenda – has launched a high-profile campaign designed to drive home the financial benefits of switching to EV.

Why not electric? highlights the very real savings that both businesses and domestic road users can make by introducing EVs as company or pool cars, or by using them for everyday journeys.

The campaign is underpinned by a new website, which people can visit and find out if EVs are a viable mode of transport for them. It features a fuel calculator where drivers can see for themselves some of the savings they could make by replacing their petrol or diesel engine car with an EV.

It also gives drivers the chance to make a direct booking to a test drive in an EV with dealerships throughout the region. Those who book a test drive through the site will be automatically entered into a competition to win use of a state-of-the-art Renault Zoe for a year courtesy of Charge Your Car and Benfield Renault – Newcastle.

Josey Wardle, project manager for Charge your Car, says that getting people behind the wheel of an EV is the main purpose of the campaign.

“Evidence suggests that when people get behind the wheel of an EV for themselves, and realise that they drive and handle in much the same way as conventional petrol and diesel engine cars, the likelihood of them going on to purchase or lease a vehicle for themselves is significantly enhanced,” she said.

Campaign messages highlight the savings that can be made by switching to EV such as comparing the cost of fully charging an EV at home, with a range of around 90 miles, to the price of purchasing a cappuccino at around £2.60.

To find out more about making the switch to EV or to book a test drive, visit