Thousands join Sunderland's Nissan Leaf revolution

A map showing where the first 3,000 Nissan Leafs have been sold has been revealed by the Sunderland-based car giant

Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire Nissan Leaf electric car being polished at the Nissan Plant, Sunderland
Nissan Leaf electric car being polished at the Nissan Plant, Sunderland

Thousands of motorists have joined Nissan’s Sunderland-driven electric car revolution.

Created to mark 3,000 of the Japanese firm’s Leafs on UK roads, a new map shows where the all the cars have been sold across the country.

It reveals that the North East is rivalling London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh to be among the greenest car areas in the UK.

And it seems the result of North East expertise is providing a novel way for a host of businesses and groups to get around.

In the West Midlands police have taken 30 Nissan Leafs on patrol, in Kent cheesemakers have bought the cars in an effort to become carbon neutral, as have whisky distillers on the Isle of Islay in Scotland.

Map of where Nissan Leafs have been sold
Map of where Nissan Leafs have been sold
 

And closer to home Phoenix Taxis, which has offices in Ashington, Cramlington, Bedlington, Morpeth, Blyth and Seaton Delaval, has installed three electric car charging points at its headquarters to help power what it hopes will be a fleet of 50 Leafs by 2015.

“The main cost to any taxi driver is fuel,” said managing director Alexander Hurst.

“With prices rocketing on a monthly basis, EVs are becoming the more sensible fleet vehicle cost.

“LEAF is incredibly luxurious and taxi drivers - notoriously unhappy with change - love the way Leaf drives.

“The gadgets available via the steering wheel also help make drivers’ lives easier.

“With real-time savings of £5,000 a year in fuel, we’re expanding our fleet and will have 15 Leafs on the road by summer 2014.”

The North East has the largest number of electric car charging points outside of London with 225 currently available to those who have embraced electric cars.

Of those, that also includes three times the number of “rapid” direct current charging points as Manchester, and over 11 times as many “fast” 32 amp supplies as Liverpool.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Nissan’s director of electric vehicles for Europe, said: “The Nissan Leaf is cheap to run and easy to maintain. It’s good to drive and passengers like the space and comfort.

“From a driver’s point of view, Leaf’s brisk acceleration allows it to easily keep with the traffic flow and the growth in quick-charging networks provides easier access to rapid ‘refuelling’.

“With zero-emissions and whisper-quiet running, just one Nissan Leaf can make a difference to life in the city.”

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