HOUSING association staff are aiming to do their bit for the environment after taking delivery of seven new Nissan Leafs.
The workers from Sunderland-based Gentoo Group, took the electric vehicles out for a spin on Gateshead College’s performance test track to learn how their new pool cars work.
Director of Gentoo Green, Sally Hancox said: “The Nissan Leafs have been a welcome addition to Gentoo and is a further step towards being planet smart and reducing our carbon emissions.
“It also offered a great opportunity for staff to visit the Gateshead College performance track and learn from the staff how to make the most of these electric vehicles.”
An expert team from the college explained to staff the features of the electric vehicles – which have been leased through Benfield Motors – where and how to charge them and also answered any health and safety queries they had.
It’s anticipated that each Leaf will cover 12,000 miles a year, saving 25 tonnes of carbon, the same weight as 250 baby elephants.
Gentoo believe the cars will be more economical with 100 miles of travel costing just £2.29 to charge – just over 2p per mile.
Gareth Chandler, Benfield Nissan’s EV relationship manager, said “We are delighted to supply Gentoo staff with a fleet of 100% all-electric Nissan Leafs.
“The awareness and benefits of the electric car revolution is steadily growing, especially in the North East.
“The Nissan Leaf has been voted the European Car of the Year and we at Benfield are seeing an increase in sales and enquiries as the swing towards electric vehicles increases,” he added.
Mick Brophy, managing director for business, innovation and development at Gateshead College, said: “Our experience has been that once people get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, they are immediately converted.
“Electric vehicles will be a major part of the transport picture in the future and the event gave staff at Gentoo a fantastic opportunity to try out the vehicles for themselves in the unique environment of the Performance Track.
“The fact that Gentoo as a company has incorporated electric vehicles into their fleet as well as installing charge points at their premises shows their commitment to sustainable transport.”