THE NORTH East is leading the way in Nissan’s electric revolution.
The car giant released this map to mark the 3,000th Leaf sale in the UK, showing just where the world’s first all-electric family car is most popular.
Not surprisingly, with the Leaf built in Sunderland and the region boasting a highly-developed network of charging points, the North East is a hotbed for owners.
But the map shows the Leaf is also proving a hit in cities across the country, with high ownership levels in Liverpool and Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Ediburgh, Glasgow and London.
Nissan says the Leaf is proving a particular hit with taxi firms, attracted by lower running costs and the chance to cut airborne pollution on city centre roads.
Blyth-based Phoenix Taxis runs a Nissan Leaf as part of its fleet and has installed three EV charging points at its headquarters.
Managing director Alexander Hurst said: “The main cost to any taxi driver is fuel. 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.”
Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Nissan director electric vehicles Europe, said: “There is little doubt the Leaf is an ideal vehicle for taxi operators. It’s 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’.”