As part of Switch EV, an electric vehicle test drive project in North East England, fourteen people have taken delivery of the Nissan LEAF.
The Switch EV project began in September 2010 and involves a number of automakers. It is one of the eight projects throughout the UK which is supported by the Technology Strategy Board's £25m Ultra Low Carbon vehicles Demonstrator Programme. It aims to increase UK sales of electric vehicles.
At an Event at the Nissan Sunderland Plant, the Nissan LEAFs were handed over to participants in the company of Mark Prisk MP, UK Minister for Business and Enterprise. They also received a tour of the manufacturing plant where the Nissan LEAF will be produced.
The first trial candidates to drive the Nissan LEAF include:
Five individuals: Martin Dixon, Mick English, Kevin Jones, Rosie Stacey and Phil Ternert.
Three businesses: Capital Shopping Centres, Cobalt Business Park and Greggs.
Three local authorities: Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council and Sunderland City Council.
Three employees from Nissan: Sunderland Plant Production Director Ian Black, Body Shop Production Manager Ian Richardson and Nissan Europe Quality Engineering Manager Colin McVay.
A fifteenth Nissan LEAF will be added to the project shortly. The participants will use the cars for six months, after which they are handed to a new group who get to experience them.
As part of the UK's Plugged in Places scheme, 1300 regional charging points will be installed in the North East region by 2013, which includes domestic and on street charging points as well as quick chargers which are capable of providing a 0-80% charge in 30 minutes.Published 24 March 2011