Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Audi Join UK Government’s Go Ultra Low Campaign to Get More People Plugging In

Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Audi have officially joined the UK Government’s Go Ultra Low campaign today, joining existing members Toyota, Nissan, BMW and Renault in a pledge to help Brits choose a more environmentally-friendly, low emissions plug-in car the next time they buy a new car.

At the heart of the Go Ultra Low Campaign is a Government-funded website by the same name, helping Brits find out more information about plug-in cars.

The UK's Go Ultra Low campaign has now welcomed Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Audi to its website.

The UK’s Go Ultra Low campaign has now welcomed Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Audi to its website.

In addition to explaining what ultra low emissions cars are — which we note will likely one day include hydrogen fuel cell as well as plug-in vehicles — the Go Ultra Low website features an interactive vehicle finder designed to help would-be owners pick the car which best suits their needs as well as a section on charging vehicles, and calculating total ownership costs.

“The public are increasingly seeing the benefits of ultra-low emission vehicles, which have low running costs and are easily chargeable at home or on the street,” said Transportation Minister Baroness Kramer in an official statement accompanying the announcement. “We now have seven manufacturers campaigning to show the wide range of styles and prices available so even more people will see what’s on offer, and the significant government help available.”

In total, there are now fifteen different vehicles represented on the Go Ultra-Low site including the Renault Twizy; Renault Kangoo Z.E; Renault ZOE EV; Nissan LEAF EV; Nissan e-NV200 Electric Van; Volkswagen e-Golf; Volkswagen e-Up; BMW i3 electric car; BMW i3 range-extended electric car;BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car; Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid; Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron Plug-in Hybrid; Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid; and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

We note that the Tesla Model S — a car now on sale in the UK — is absent from the list, despite Tesla CEO Elon Musk being the UK Government’s official electric car advisor.

While we’re pleased to see more electric and plug-in vehicles listed on the Go Ultra Low website however, we can’t help but question some of the advise listed. Most noticeably the range of some of the cars listed.

Your real-world range isn't going to be the same as the NEDC figures say it should be.

Your real-world range isn’t going to be the same as the NEDC figures say it should be.

Being an official UK government site, the Go Ultra Low Campaign quotes the official NEDC range ratings used across Europe on its site, alongside some ‘real-world’ range figures for some of the cars available.

Sadly, the lab-derived NEDC range estimates, like the Japanese JC08 range tests, aren’t particularly representative of achievable real-world range. Worse still, they can often overestimate the range of a vehicle by as much as 30 miles or more.  And while the site does point out that NEDC tests are the official EU efficiency test and do not necessarily represent real-world range, it doesn’t attempt to suggest a real-world average for many of the cars listed. For those it does give real-world figures for, they’re figures suggested by the manufacturer rather than third-party verification.

Nevertheless, if you’re on the search for a plug-in car and you live in the UK, the Go Ultra Low site now has far more resources available than previously, so it’s well worth adding it to what we hope is a long list of sites to obtain and cross-reference information from.

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