In under two years times, any chauffeur travelling into London will have new rules to abide by – the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be rolled-out across the capital.
Diesel cars have found themselves in the spotlight with London Mayor Boris Johnson calling for an Ultra Low Emission Zone in London to be put in place by 2020.
The ULEZ would mean older diesel cars that don’t meet Euro 6 emission standards would be charged an extra £10 to enter the capital – on top of the standard London congestion charge.
For chauffeurs looking to comply with the ULEZ changes, Guest Blogger, Paul Gibson from TheChauffeur.com has put together the …
Top 5 zero emission luxury cars available to the industry
Tesla Model S
Revealed back in 2008, the Tesla Model S was ranked as the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle in 2015 – the totally electric powered vehicle can reach 60mph in just over 4 seconds, and not only looks stunning on the road but also has a range of over 300 miles on a full charge.
Tesla has also introduced a number of ‘supercharger’ stations where owners can give their Tesla a full charge in around 45 minutes – there are currently 31 of these located across the UK.
Although the ride is fairly smooth, the interior lacks some finesse. Tesla offers an executive rear seating package which isn’t that amazing, but better than the standard seating on the base model.
This is the only vehicle in this countdown that has a totally electric powertrain – so no petrol or diesel engine to fall back on. Therefore, the Tesla is only really suitable for London chauffeuring or on routes which have a Tesla Supercharger point.
The stunning all-new BMW 7-Series will be getting zero emission capability in 2016.
BMW has announced a plug-in 740e, 740Le and 740Le xDrive will be available this year, which will be capable of travelling around 29 miles on battery power and feature emissions of between 49 and 56 g/km, using a 2.0 4-cylinder, TwinPower turbo petrol engine.
Unlike some other hybrid vehicles, the batteries of the 7-Series will be stored under the rear seat, so boot space can remain as large as ever.
Prices for the 7-Series eDrive range has just been announced to start from £68,330 on-the-road.
Opinions on the hybrid range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles have been mixed – the manufacturer has never given us the opportunity to drive these, so we wouldn’t know how good they are!
What we’ve heard is that boot space is seriously comprised to accommodate batteries – so not ideal for a chauffeur who plans to fill it with clients cases.
Mercedes-Benz offers a S 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, S 400 Hybrid and an S500 plug-in, which are perfectly capable chauffeur vehicles – (so, we’ve been told).
The S500 Plug-in houses a powerful V6 engine which reaches 62 mph in just 5.2 seconds before reaching a limited 155 mph, and yet is exempt from road tax and receives a 100 per cent discount on the London Congestion Charge.
It can travel 20 miles on battery power, whilst producing 65 g/km when the 4-cylinder engine is in use.
Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid
No longer in production, the E-Class Hybrid was available on the previous model.
Chauffeurs experienced a clunky transition between battery and engine power which wouldn’t be ideal when transporting clients.
A hybrid version of the new E-Class hasn’t been announced as yet, but it’s expected to return similar, if not better figures than the S-Class Hybrid range.
We all know, the E-Class is the most popular premium chauffeur vehicle in the UK, so when it’s announced and on sale, the new E Hybrid could be an extremely popular option with ULEZ looming.
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Now, here is a vehicle the manufacturer was happy for us to test on it’s launch.
The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is not only a stunning vehicle to look at, but an excellent car to drive – however, slightly more expensive to buy and run than the others.
Producing a slightly higher Co2 than most other plug-in hybrids of this ilk (71 g/km), the Panamera is quick, that’s mainly due to the V6 3.0 petrol engine under the bonnet, boosted by 95bhp electric motor. At 91mpg, the Panamera is still good when it comes to economy, however, the electric range is relatively low.
At over £80,000, the Panamera E-Hybrid isn’t the most effective chauffeur car to beat ULEZ, however, for chauffeurs looking to be different and still offer style and comfort, it’s certainly one to consider.
Read more: Understanding ULEZ for London
Read more: 5 Competitors to the Mercedes S-Class