RT to DVLA re Road Tax waste of paper for ULEV. Why send out letters if Tax is 3 clicks away ado+free. 32k letters (-2015 records)

March 27th, 2017 § Comments Off on RT to DVLA re Road Tax waste of paper for ULEV. Why send out letters if Tax is 3 clicks away ado+free. 32k letters (-2015 records) § permalink

I am all content with free tax for ULEV. as it should be. Going “Ultra Low Emission”, or i say, full battery Electric Vehicle could be an experiment in itself and for the greater better breathable city air, Free Road Tax as incentive, benefit, expectation – whatever you call it.

it is all good and its welcomed.

But what boggles my mind is the waste associated with sending out all these ROAD TAX RENEWAL letters. Surely that is a gross waste of paper this reminder is written on.

free road tax. 100% battery electric ride

Road Tax piece of paper reminding me … to get taxed. its free. but i need to go online and click 3 times. This letter is sent to at least 32 thousand people (ULEV count upto 2015 inclusive) and this figure is likely to be in excess of 60k in reality. Consider the waste of this paper and postage fees.

It literally serves no actual benefit. This whole thing could be approved/auto-taxed by default and automatically. Surely.

Owner/Driver (driving the vehicle in question or not) can get this Road Taxed in 3 simple clicks online.

If is free in any case, and would be for foreseeable future, why not simply automate the process and save this bureaucratic nonsense and save the paper, ink and indeed the cost of postage the DVLA, TAX Payer coughs up for, to send all these pointless reminders.

Like it said. It boggles me mind. Feel free to RT to DVLA, better yet Gov Petition anyone?

I jsut looked up the official figures by doing a quick google on gov.uk.

Upto 2015 inclusive, there were 31,943 ULEV registration.

I would think by today, 2017, this figure actually doubled at the very least, due to a good range of PHEV(at the very least) and EVs becoming available as indeed the uptake of those (no thanks to Dieselgate, aghem)

This is to be around 60k letters – consider the amount of letters and postage costs involved, this incurs. Honestly, time to move on with the times and end this waste.

ROAD TAX RENEWAL. a bit of a waste of this paper. why not automate and simplify this process entirely.

See for yourself. Ultra-low emission vehicles registered for the first time: United Kingdom (ODS, 20.2KB) This will require OpenOffice (free) installation to view the spreadsheet.

UPDATED: Citroen Czero #ev lease is up, inspected, now to be …flatbed collected. So what’s this on the invoice?…

August 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on UPDATED: Citroen Czero #ev lease is up, inspected, now to be …flatbed collected. So what’s this on the invoice?… § permalink

Firstly, I’d mention that citroen has been my very first electric car (#ev virgin no more), so it would always have a special place with me.

My Experience to day is mixed, and reason being that back in 2012 era, there were not much of electric car support or even consideration from fellow driver, rather awe and “good luck mate, better you than me” sort of attitude.Purty cZero

You know, the sort of stuff you’d get when  you are at the forefront of pretty much… anything.

Beside naysayers, 21,481 Electric Miles covered in the electric car was fantastic.

How much did i save?

Well, comparing to my original pre-ev car at the time, Automatic, Petrol, 1.4 Polo, which at most averaged 35mpg (i know, i’m an optimist), would result in saving of £3107 (less cos of electricity for same period) in Petrol costs.

This is a whole another story.
First Service, first year, was £69
Second Service (major) at year three, was £416.99 (Odd fixes which were self inflicted are not included, as they are not relevant for the overall comparison)

Shape of the car means that narrow London streets are no enemy. Small form factor means parking was a bliss as well.

Total Lease cost
This lease deal was a 3+35 Lease with 10k/annum allowance costing roughly £180 VAT Inclusive. (Not bad!)
Comparison for the 1-6 Travelcard/tube costs, this car ownership wins hands down. So if you’re in London, have access to parking, its a no brainer, in my opinion. Ironic but true.

END-OF-LEASE Collection

So, essentially you get these letters towards the end of the lease term, advising you to ensure you have all paperwork is in order. get documentation, two sets of keys and get car fully cleaned and DIY remedied where possible. This ensures that car is going back in the same (very similar) condition as when you got it. Its basically a car rental, – as it is, but you get opportunity to fix all your dents and scruffs to avoid the surprise fees (there are no excesses coverage). plain and simple.

Here is my such letter.


Inspection day

Basically, since its an electric car, i was told that this would be a two-stage process (no fees advised)

Day 1, inspection. Day 2, collection, as someone else with a flatbed truck needs to collect this.

Fair do.

Result of my inspection day

All is to plan, as i am well aware of the small alloy scruff on the pavement. :/ oh well, and i cannot simply, cannot find the booklet set which came with citroen. it’s been a while. give up. ok, minor costs, accept the debauchery.

But the finer detail yet, – this report lists the return’s transportation fees and inspection fees. Huh?

Surely thats not for me to foot. I personally would like to think its not in my interest (nor benefit) to have any of those, so why is it on there? To be Confirmed… Since i am a pint half-full sort of person, i’d like to think its a honest cock-up so to speak.

10/08/2015 11:00am. I will be updating this post once more information/confirmation/clarification comes to light.

surprise fees, return-fees of flatbed truck and inspection fees???? Surely it's for Citroen to deal with it. hmm, someone pulling the fast one.

surprise fees, return-fees of flatbed truck and inspection fees???? Surely it’s for Citroen to deal with it. hmm, someone pulling the fast one.

For now, i’ve left with more mixed feelings that i would like to deal with.
I have paid for all three years of leasing without hitch, had all the relevant services, MOT.
Car is in a good nick, as confirmed in the report.
So why this, last “slap” surprise? Only one day to find out.

Closing thoughts on ownership
I have had a good time and some awkward times when it comes to range.
In fact its a gen1 electric car and having 75miles range estimated is pretty good.
At the end of year three, that is not the case any longer, and now the range is a lot less.
Climate control (AirCon/Heating) on gen1 were notoriously hungry for power with resistance heaters.

Parking and Driving about London Town is a bliss (see above)

Interior is minimal but so is the cost of the lease. Im not complaining.

Intercity driving not advised, but with ecotricity Rapid Chargers on every corner these days, its not impossible to do so.

Boot space is minimal. It Is tad less than of Audi’s A3 E-tron PHEV. And BMW i3. Its usable, but dont expect much from it.

I would say that resale/pre-loved car expected to cost about 6k. I would say it’s worth about 5k.

Having said that, Twizy (45miles tops/no windows/ no heating/ 2 seats) would cost about 4k.

So a 4 seater Imiev/czero/ion still wins.

In fact insurance category is 1A, so new drivers would certainly be benefitting from a low insurance premium. Just a thought. Consider this, the worse they drive the less farther they would go.

EvMeerkat's first electricCar by Citroen, Czero, at it's lease-end. Collection day!

EvMeerkat's first electricCar by Citroen, Czero, at it's lease-end. Collection day!


I have set out with a full blown letter, as advised by @citroenUK, who are not direct[ly in control] of their financing company counterpart in the UK.

Subject: Surprise costs an end-of-lease agreement

Dear Sir/Madam,

 …[removed irrelevant liners of identity]..

The purpose of this enquiry is me contesting the car collection and inspection fees, which were added into “Damage” report, where such charges have no relevance.

I have indeed contested these charges, but it would appear my dispute was ignored and I was subsequently served with a letter demanding the full payment.

I have made reasonable attempts to contact Citroen UK to determine the status and progress of these affairs, and have only been just advised that this to be taken further, via email.

The Following charges contested, as I believe they are not relevant in my Damage Report;

  • Car Inspection Service, Fee – £31.80
  • Car Transportation(return to base) Service, fee – £275

I would like to believe these have appeared on the car inspection by a mistake, since they are spurious and offer me/customer no benefit.

In the even these charges are imposed as “correct”, I am legally contesting those, to be void.

Both of these Served me(customer) no benefit, and these [specifically levied costs] were not discussed/forewarned prior breaching “Requirement for Transparency” of Consumer Rights Act 2015 S68(1,2), nor found in my original agreement details.

Under Consumer Contract 2013, Section 40, as a consumer I am protected against such spurious charges;

Specifically, under s40 (1) I have offered no express consent for [any] charges arising from the aforementioned [contested] services. 

Furthermore, I/[customer] find these charges Unfair.  

Furthermore, under Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 S8 (1)(a), which constitutes to misrepresentation of services provided [by notion of Car Collection Notice, without any cost/charges advised by phone/contract/citroen website’s section on end-of-term, car return preparation]

This satisfies the reasonableness test under section 11(1) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, specifically, by effect of:

  • no prior forewarning regarding inspection and car collection fees, and by notion that any such charges for services offer any benefit to me/consumer. 
  • None of the aforementioned, contested charges fall under Car Damage category, for the purpose of such car inspection report, where required.

Any such additional charges[terms and notices] found to be be unfair are NOT BINDING on the consumer, as affirmed by Consumer Rights Act 2015 S62(2)

Under the very same Consumer Rights Act 2015, S56 (1) Leasing Finance[trader] is to reduce the total price[specifically removing aforementioned fees from my DAMAGE REPORT], and this must have any other imposed fees, as a result of doing so (S56)(6). 

I sincerely Hope that this was an accidental mistake and is not to cause any further grievance for either party.


Phew. There. Done. Pressed SEND. No going back. Always know your rights.

Not sure? Well, www.legislation.gov.uk is a good place to start digging your curious minds in.

And, ukCScomplaints has finally responded my rightful complaint about these shenanigans.

Thank you for your email regarding the charges you received when our vehicle was returned to us.

Normally, our agents at Manheim will carry out an inspection of the vehicle to produce the condition report, then collect the vehicle at the same time and drive it away to the auction house. However for electric vehicles, the inspection of the vehicle takes place prior to the collection. As it is difficult to guarantee that the vehicle will make it to the auction house and beyond without needing to be recharged, the vehicle must then be collected on a Low Loader. The fees you see on the condition report are for this separate inspection and collection procedure.

In light of your dissatisfaction I will remove these charges totaling £306.80. I can see we were due to collect your charges today by Direct Debit; if you did not cancel the Direct Debit I will ensure this is refunded back to you. If you have cancelled your Direct Debit, please make a manual payment of £90 at your earliest convenience, by cheque or by BACS with the following details:


Which is great. Finally. You’d think Man vs Finance-Org Wins. Good times.

But… it does not feel like winning at all.

Its right down unfair, wrong and day-light robbery if this was allowed to continue.

I would be right to drag this out through mud and courts to get justice with this.

Its £300 of my hard earned money after-all. If I was paying out every bob, steve and suzie every time some[one] company would post me an fictions invoice I’d be broke, and i mean broke [&] stupid, which is even worse(apparently).

Nevetheless, I have accepted the deal, thanked the team for looking into this promptly and [how-could-i-not] given my two-pence on this saga.

Dear R,

I appreciate  your response. And your reconsidered Final Settlement figure of £90 is thus accepted.

I will be making payments shortly later today. Direct Debit mandate is cancelled.

I would like to add however,

  • implore you rather, to make all such “hidden” charges more transparent to all such future electric vehicle leasing programmes. I am certain these are well justified costs, but to addressed by the finance company, not the end-leaseholder, who will bear no benefit for such services, especially without prior agreement in place. Therefore such fees would always be deemed unfair and not applicable.
  • I have wished to address this earlier without further prompts for such emails. I would further urge you to look into the Manhein’s collection process. I have explicitly disagreed with the aforementioned charges on the outset. Despite doing so, you have sent me an invoice for the Full Amount. This speaks poorly for the quality of such car collection processes.



Moral of the story, Don’t Blame the EV experience, thats One.

Two. If you need to blame someone, then blame the folks who are not specialists in the field and are not willing to adapt with the times. Best way forward, go for a car, which manufacturer actually manufactures… – their own [in-house] car and thus they are more likely to be are able to adjust the processes to suit their customers. Not the other way round.

UEL student prepares for Dragons’ Den style competition for low-carbon entrepreneurs

March 17th, 2015 § Comments Off on UEL student prepares for Dragons’ Den style competition for low-carbon entrepreneurs § permalink

University of East London student Carlos Silva goes up against other green tech entrepreneurs on Friday hoping his low-cost electric car will get the nod in a Dragons’ Den-style competition.

The Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award 2015 takes place at City Hall and the electronic and electrical engineering student hopes his affordable take on a new breed of car will take a share of the £20,000 prize fund.

His eureka moment came he reflected on the lack of a cost-effective propulsion system, even for mass produced green vehicles.

He said: “Electric cars offer a reliable and affordable alternative to conventional vehicles. However, I believe they are not yet self-sustainable and further research needs to be carried out by vehicle manufacturers and government to bring the numbers up. This led me to start my work with induction motors.”

According to Carlos, induction motors have been a workhorse of industry worldwide but are yet to be widely accepted as a key component in green cars.

Carlos said: “I started by the fundamentals, comparing different control strategies and judging which one would fit best to the characteristics found on a vehicle, what kind of power source, how to recharge the batteries, and other unanswered questions.”

MP Zac Goldsmith inside the Solarbox in Tottenham Court Road
He removed the petrol engine from his prototype and redesigned and modified major internal systems, all under the auspices of the DVLA which had to approve the car as roadworthy.

Carlos said: “I wanted to make a difference in a world with fewer resources. I particularly enjoy the lack of brake dust, and engine leaks. This results in lower maintenance and a large source of pollution from conventional vehicles is eliminated.”

Last year’s James Winfield and Dominic Jacobson from Imperial College London received £15,000 for their Crowd Power Plant idea while runners up Kirsty Kenney and Harold Craston from LSE won £5,000 for their idea to repurpose disused red telephone boxes into free-to-use solar powered mobile phone charging stations. The first solarbox was launched in October 2014 on Tottenham Court Road.

The 2015 judging panel includes solo yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur; journalist Charlene White, Innocent founder Richard Reed; Andrew Hall and Martin Powell from sponsors Siemens; Delos co-founder Morad Fareed and the mayor’s environmental adviser Matthew Pencharz.


£43 Million Funding: up to 2020 announced as popularity grows for plug-in vehicles.

February 26th, 2015 § Comments Off on £43 Million Funding: up to 2020 announced as popularity grows for plug-in vehicles. § permalink

A wave of chargepoints to support the fast-growing popularity of plug-in vehicles will be installed across the UK after the government set out £32 million of infrastructure support up to 2020.

Homes, hospitals, train stations and A-roads will be some of the locations for further chargepoints to maintain Britain’s position as a global leader in this cutting-edge technology.

The support compliments the fast-growing popularity of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) with grant claims rising 4 fold in 2014 compared to the previous year as take-up of plug-in car grants continues to rise. » Read the rest of this entry «

Number of ultra-low emission vehicles breaks 25,000 barrier

February 26th, 2015 § Comments Off on Number of ultra-low emission vehicles breaks 25,000 barrier § permalink

The popularity of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) continues to rise sharply, with more than 25,000 plug-in car and plug-in van grant claims submitted since the scheme began in 2010.

Even the traditionally quiet January sales market saw nearly 2000 claims and total ULEV sales in 2014 were some 4 times the level of the previous year. The UK is now ahead of France and Germany in ULEV take-up, placing this country at the forefront of this green and cheap-to-run car technology. The acceleration in popularity is matched by the growing number of ULEVmodels on the market with some 25 car models and 7 van models eligible for the plug-in grant. A further 40 ULEV models from major manufacturers are expected to come to market over the next 3 years. » Read the rest of this entry «

Good News Everyone! Plug-in Car Grant to rise to 35% of RRP from April 1st 2015. UK

February 23rd, 2015 § Comments Off on Good News Everyone! Plug-in Car Grant to rise to 35% of RRP from April 1st 2015. UK § permalink

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has altered the Plug-in Car Grant to provide additional funding for the most affordable electric models on the market, while hinting at future differentiation between plug-ins based on their range and CO2 emissions.

From the 1st April, buyers will be able to claim a 35% discount of the vehicle’s recommended retail price, up to the already existing £5,000 cap. Significantly, this means electric cars priced under £20,000 will be able to take advantage of most or all of the £5,000 discount for the first time.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Tesla takes UK supercharger network to Sainsbury’s

February 3rd, 2015 § Comments Off on Tesla takes UK supercharger network to Sainsbury’s § permalink

Tesla has opened its 20th supercharger in the UK, putting the company on course to provide coverage to the whole of the country by the end of this year.

The three stations added in Winchester, Exeter and Bristol are all in Sainsbury’s supermarket car parks, allowing drivers to charge while they shop.

» Read the rest of this entry «

My Nissan Leaf #ev First Service Done. £109… & “Oil Filter” – View Service Report

January 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on My Nissan Leaf #ev First Service Done. £109… & “Oil Filter” – View Service Report § permalink


Its done. cz_ServicedNissanLeaf
First Service for my beautiful white Nissan Leaf Acenta.

@15k it feels much the same as any other day or mileage numeric.

See the service report breakdown of the £109 service fee. Still not sure what the £149.


My #electricCar Nissan Leaf First Service. Cost? £109. What for? All snaps here. How much did your service cost? pic.twitter.com/p53CLkDRLB


See you in two years, (or sooner) Nissan Chaps!

Glad many folks found it amusing and thanks to:

 TransportEvolved to have this story covered

As well as GreenCarReports Cheers!

And Finally, it found it’s way to Yahoo as Repost

Just remember, You heard it here first 😉 or rather my ranting on @evmeerkat twitter account 😛

Nissan Leaf Electric Car Warranty Page ( for your battery ) as listed in service Booklet

January 5th, 2015 § Comments Off on Nissan Leaf Electric Car Warranty Page ( for your battery ) as listed in service Booklet § permalink

As many have asked about the electric vehicle warranties, I have desired to set record straight and take a snap of the warranty page in the Services Booklet for your own reference. hope this helps.

This is for my NISSAN LEAF ACENTA 2013 model.

Link to tweet with the images


Nissan Leaf service book Nissan Leaf service book

Calling all #electricCar drivers to join http://www.evda-uk.org/join/ @evda_uk All Keen #EV drivers are welcome! considerer joining The Board! ;)

August 13th, 2014 § Comments Off on Calling all #electricCar drivers to join http://www.evda-uk.org/join/ @evda_uk All Keen #EV drivers are welcome! considerer joining The Board! ;) § permalink

EVDA is a non profit, voluntary association of Electric Car drivers, purposed to represent the Views and Needs of Such Drivers in the UK.

Please visit the official website.

Consider putting yourself forward to join The Board.

There is a huge opportunity for Growth and development of EVDA UK.

At present, The Board Members are all volunteering their time and effort with day to day running, marketing and supporting our members. All extra hands on board are well appreciated.


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