A publicity stunt by Renault in the United Kingdom had Santa Claus delivering chocolate all over the country earlier this month in a highly energy-efficient way.
The social media campaign featured Santa testing a Renault Zoe EV, as a possible replacement for his reindeer-drawn sleigh.
In all, Santa delivered 1,000 boxes of Montezuma’s Christmas chocolate during his 820-mile electric test drive, including stops at several local hospices, charities and hospitals.
He also visited users who had requested a visit by using the #SantaGoesElectric hashtag on social media.
While the campaign was meant to spread some Christmas cheer around the UK, Renault used the stunt as an opportunity to highlight the Zoe’s efficiency and zero emissions against in comparison to Santa’s methane-emitting reindeer.
In a 2005 marketing campaign by then Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Tom Brake in the UK, it was calculated Santa’s reindeer would emit 40,600 tonnes of greenhouse gases during his 122-million-mile trip around the world delivering presents.
In contrast, Santa’s electric sleigh would emit no direct pollution, but he might require a bit more time than one day getting presents to all the children on his “nice list.”
The Zoe’s 820 miles of delivery duty were spread over four days, with battery recharging in between.
For several years now, the Renault Zoe has been Europe’s best-selling battery-electric vehicle. In production since 2012, it has sold well over 65,000 units since then.
Its sales jumped this year after its original 23-kilowatt-hour battery pack was updated to 41 kwh, giving it a range rating of 300 to 400 kilometers (185 to 250 miles) on the European test cycle (likely about 150 miles if it were tested on the EPA cycle).
Renault did break down the required energy costs of the Zoe versus reindeer in its release:
Traditionally, this UK trip would generate 60kg of CO2 equivalent (mainly methane) from nine reindeer working hard for four days**. Nine hardworking reindeer will need to consume about 7,328 calories per mile*** – that is 179 carrots per mile (or MPC) which at 6p per carrot**** costs £10.72 per mile.
Santa was thrilled to learn that his new Renault ZOE sleigh costs as little as 2p per mile and releases no CO2 at all. Because he has a long way to travel with a lot of presents he was pleased to learn that the ZOE has a range of 112 – 186 miles per charge and a 338 litre boot – ideal for spreading lots of Christmas cheer far and wide.