With the back drop of increasing air pollution in the streets of London, the local motorshow, which returned to Battersea Park for the second year, should be an opportunity to show case ultra low emissions vehicles, including electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
This opportunity would perfectly align with Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to clean the air with a low emissions zone and price out older diesel cars the capital. Yet on my visit to the show, I was left feeling distinctly underwhelmed.
What should be a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for a new car, was actually a mishmash of family cars with high priced super cars designed to draw in the crowds.
The London Motorshow is not backed by manufacturers and is in fact dealership groups representing them. What is billed as a ‘great family day out’ certainly did deliver, especially with free entry for children. I understand the need to draw in an audience with some head line grabbing cars, such as the Liberty Walk modified McLaren, this healthy size of audience brings the perfect opportunity to promote the future of motoring.
Space is at a premium at the Battersea Evolution site, which is why a limited eclectic range of cars were on show. But this cannot fully explain why ultra low emissions are not in abundance and a opportunity to sell them was being so easily missed.
The show wasn’t completely without electric and plug-in cars. Visitors were able to check out the BMW i3, i8, a Tesla Model X along with the Nissan’s LEAF and a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. As the show is staffed by dealers, the question is do they know how to sell electric cars, or do they need to parachute experts in from the industry backed GoUltraLow campaign?
On display at the Morgan London stand was the stunning EV3 1909 Selfridges Edition, where the level of enthusiasm for the 3 wheeled electric car was a breath of fresh air. This limited edition model is restricted to just 19 units, all in black and gold, with a the ‘standard’ version arriving later this year expected to be priced at around £50,000.
As expected the white Tesla Model X on show was creating much interest from all ages as it sat with it’s falcon doors aloft. The sales team from Tesla were expertly fielding all the usual questions about electric cars, such as range and charging options that those who were absent from the show could have easily answered and offered a far cheaper alternative to any Tesla.