Kingston Mayor Thay Thayalan gets new electric car in a bid to tackle air pollution

Mayor Thay Thayalan with his new electric car. Photo: Jaya Sharma

Kingston Mayor Thay Thayalan will now use an electric car for transport to and from all official engagements.

The mayor’s new electric car is part of the council’s efforts to reduce air pollution in Kingston.

The Hyundai Kona Electric car costs £27, 250 and was paid for by the council’s budget.

“It’s fabulous, it’s comfortable, it’s environmentally friendly and there’s no noise,” said the mayor.

Electric cars are more environmentally efficient than gas-powered vehicles, as they are powered by electricity from a battery or fuel cell.

Electric cars could help to drop CO2 emissions by 41 per cent, by 2030, according to Kingston Council.

Other benefits of an electric car include no noise, an efficient motor and savings on money spent on fuel.

Asif Mullan charging his electric car. Photo: Kingston Gov.

Asif Mullan, a New Malden resident, switched from a diesel car to a Tesla.

He said: “I have been following the concept of electric vehicles for a few years.

“One of the misconceptions I had was the fact that I would be stuck to a charger, that I’d run out of battery and, unlike a petrol car which you can fill up in a couple of minutes, that I’d be stuck waiting for hours for a car to charge.”

The benefits of an electric car. Infographic design: Jaya Sharma

There are currently 20 charging points for electric cars in Kingston-upon-Thames, including Surbiton Waitrose, Tolworth hospital and Penrhyn Road Campus.

Kingston council is aiming to add 100 new charging points by 2021.

“My car has no negative impact on the environment, so I’m driving guilt free” Mullan added.

Mullan benefitted from a government grant, which gives discounts to people buying low-emission vehicles.

This is part of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s  aim to make London a zero emission city by 2050.

The number of plug-in electric cars soared in the UK from 3, 500 in 2013 to more than 206, 000 by the end of March 2019.

“I would definitely encourage people to go for electric cars,” said Thayalan.

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