City council goes green with fleet of Sunderland-built LEAFs

Sunderland City Council is going green.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 11:27 am

The council has ordered ten new electric Nissan LEAF cars to create an emission-free fleet for business use.

The Sunderland-built cars - which will carry the council’s distinctive new city branding - will be the first visible sign of the council’s Mobility Hub project, which aims to promote more sustainable travel in and around the city.

Twenty e-bikes will also be made available when the local authority relocates to City Hall, which is nearing completion at Riverside Sunderland.

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(from left): Nissan's Noel Critchley, Coun Claire Rowntree, Neil Milnthorpe and Coun Kevin Johnston

Common in Europe, mobility hubs allow people to make use of sustainable modes of travel, often meaning they no longer need a vehicle of their own.

The hope is that the hub will eventually make pool green cars available to the public.

Coun Claire Rowntree, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This year, we have seen a great many reminders of the devastating impact of global warming – from the devastating fires in Greece to flooding in the US, and we all have a role to play in ensuring we tackle this climate emergency.

“We’re determined, as a local authority, to set the bar when it comes to taking action and that’s why we’re targeting carbon neutrality as an authority by 2030, and as a city by 2040. Initiatives like this one, which have proven to be a success elsewhere in Europe, will put us right at the cutting edge in the country in taking proactive steps to minimise our carbon footprint and we’re looking forward to testing the concept with these stunning Nissan cars that we’re very proud were made in Sunderland.

“It’s a fitting start to the Mobility Hub, which we hope will be a successful new asset that – eventually – the whole city will be able to make use of.”

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The purchase of the cars coincides with the tenth anniversary of the LEAF being produced in the city, and has been supported through funding from Getting Building Fund, from the Government via the North East LEP.

Coun Kevin Johnston, dynamic city portfolio holder, added: “The Mobility Hub will stand at the heart of our Riverside Sunderland community, the UK’s first low carbon urban quarter.

“We’re creating a unique place to live, work and play at Riverside and – through initiatives like this Mobility Hub – we will be able to show people a different way of living, offering them a service that will support them to live in a greener way and save money in the process.”

The cars will be delivered to the council in December.

Wessington Way dealership Evans Halshaw Nissan is organising the delivery on behalf of the council.

Head of business Neil Milnthorp, head of business, said: “We are delighted to be supplying these ten electric LEAFs to Sunderland Council, in support of its efforts to create a zero emission transport hub in our great city.

"This is a progressive transport initiative for Sunderland and we look forward to supporting further in the transition to a low carbon future, as well as assisting with any future vehicle servicing and maintenance requirements they may have.”

To stay up to date with the latest news from Riverside Sunderland, visit www.riversidesunderland.co.uk or follow @riversidesund for more updates.

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