Four Nissan LEAFs have been delivered to international electricity and gas company National Grid on a four year/40,000 mile lease contract, after having been selected following trials against a selection of hybrid cars.
The Nissan LEAFS will be used a car pool fleet for National Grid staff who are working on an eight year project to construct tunnels for a new high voltage electric cabling network for London.
National Grid inspectors will be using the Nissan LEAF around the clock, every day of the week to travel between tunnel shaft sites around London.
Paul de Jong, Safety & Sustainability Manger for National Grid says: "We are always keen to look at new ways of working to operate in a more sustainable manner, including the way that staff and materials are transported. We wanted to see whether electric vehicles would be suitable for getting around already congested areas in London". Staff opted for the LEAF's five door practicality, ride and comfort, while exemption from the Congestion Charge and low running costs were key considerations for the procurement and fleet teams.
"The LEAF is the first EV to join our 2,600 strong car fleet and has already won favour with the staff that will be using the car around the clock," explained David Morse, National Grid’s fleet operations manager.
"Its combination of zero emissions when in use, low running costs, size and interior space will make it an ideal companion on this world class engineering project," he added.
National Grid's Willesden and hackney sites are already have electric charging points prepared to ensure the Nissan LEAF is always powered.
The funding for the four Nissan LEAFs was provided by Hitachi Capital, and Inchcape Fleet Management will be responsible for managing all other elements of the car, to include servicing and maintenance.
Barry Beeston’s Fleet Sales Director for Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd said: "The LEAF is showing companies like National Grid that there is a place for electric vehicles in a modern day fleet environment. From a corporate perspective LEAF can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint and running costs and is comfortable and well specified to ensure company drivers do not have to compromise when they go for a zero emission solution."
During the project more than 32km of tunnels will be dug to assist National Grid in modernising London's electricity infrastructure. The tunnels will be 3-4 metres in diameter and will sit between 20 and 60 metres underground. When complete, the project will enable National Grid engineers to fully inspect and maintain the electricity network without causing any disruption to London drivers, workers or residents.
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