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Drivers converted to electric-power by Nissan's Leaf

19/03/2015 08:37

Drivers converted to electric-power by Nissan's Leaf

Drivers converted to electric-power by Nissan's Leaf

My Electric Avenue's trials have seen drivers converted to electric-power thanks to Nissan's 100 per cent electric Leaf.

The project examines if local electricity networks can cope with charging a group, or 'cluster', of electric vehicles at peak times, testing a new technology that can control the charging of the cars if the local electricity grid becomes overloaded.

It needed groups of neighbours to come together and each lease an all-electric Nissan Leaf for 18 months, with a target of ten neighbours in a cluster and ten clusters around Britain. My Electric Avenue exceeded its targets, and there are now more than 200 participants in the trials, each driving a Nissan Leaf.

One community in the north-east has 23 neighbours driving Nissan Leafs and one of the members of this cluster is just 21 years old. "The Nissan Leaf is great to drive, it can fit five people, and it's amazingly cheap to run," said Jack Hamilton. "It's also more interesting than the average car. I would definitely consider another electric car in the future."

Julie Skevington was responsible for telling her neighbours about My Electric Avenue and recruiting them to the project. She adds: "I have driven over 15,000 miles in my Nissan Leaf in just over a year, so it obviously seems to meet my driving needs! I've even ventured further afield a few times, something that seems easier than I thought with a bit of planning."

It's well known that the Nissan Leaf offers low running costs, but one participant of My Electric Avenue has even found a way to improve on that. Ian Finch works in the field of renewable energy and has harnessed the power of the sun to charge his Leaf.

"The electricity to charge the Nissan Leaf for 80-100 miles of driving only costs around £2," he said. "However I've managed to drive the car completely free of charge in summer by using the solar panels on my house to power the car. Of course, this also means that the energy to recharge the car has zero CO2 emissions."

Paul O'Neill, EV manager at Nissan Motor GB, added: "Last year, UK sales of the Nissan Leaf more than doubled as the benefits of switching to a pure electric vehicle became more widely known amongst motorists.

"Not only does the Leaf offer motorists a driving experience that often betters its traditionally-powered rivals, it also delivers lower running costs and tangible savings and I am delighted that it has transformed the participants in the My Electric Avenue trials into committed electric car drivers."

by: Sophie Williamson-Stothert

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