Schoolgirl’s 400-mile round trip to thank Sunderland electric vehicle drivers

A schoolgirl undertook a journey of more than 400 miles to thank electric vehicle drivers on Wearside for choosing a more environmentally friendly mode of transport.

Twelve-year-old Charlotte Smith thanked drivers at charging points in Sunderland’s West Wear Street car park for opting to go green and drive eco-friendly vehicles.

Charlotte Smith travelled from near Birmingham to Sunderland to handout Thank You cards to owners of Electric Vehicles.

Charlotte Smith travelled from near Birmingham to Sunderland to handout Thank You cards to owners of Electric Vehicles.

The visit is part of a campaign by the schoolgirl to encourage more and more drivers to ditch their petrol or diesel vehicles and go electric.

Charlotte has designed thank you cards to hand out to those she sees using electric vehicles as a way of encouraging more people to use them.

Charlotte, a pupil at Tudor Grange Academy in Solihull, in the West Midlands, who was accompanied by dad Steven on her visit, told the Echo: “A couple of years ago I noticed when I was in a car park that I was breathing in a lot of emissions, so I ended up writing a science paper on it.

“It got me thinking about how we can do more to get people driving electric cars.

Charlotte Smith travelled from near Birmingham to Sunderland to handout Thank You cards to owners of Electric Vehicles.

Charlotte Smith travelled from near Birmingham to Sunderland to handout Thank You cards to owners of Electric Vehicles.

“You don’t want to make people out to be villains, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar, so I designed the cards to thank the people who have chosen to go electric instead.

“I’ve had some nice feedback since I started doing this and you just hope more people will be encouraged to use electric vehicles.”

Lindsay Thynne, 41, of Grangetown, was one of those using the charging station.

Medical secretary Lindsay, who is mum to Jaycee, seven, said: “I’ve had my Nissan Leaf for nearly two years now and it’s great.

Charlotte Smith hands a thank you card to Lindsey Thynne and daughter Jaycee.

Charlotte Smith hands a thank you card to Lindsey Thynne and daughter Jaycee.

“I use this charging area all the time because it’s not far from where I live.

“It’s good that more and more people are using these type of cars. They’ll only get better with time.”

Linda Blakelock, 55, of Chester-le-Street, was using area to charge up her Renault Zoe vehicle.

“I think what this girl is doing is brilliant,” said Linda.

Charlotte Smith with driver Linda Blakelock.

Charlotte Smith with driver Linda Blakelock.

“I don’t see any negatives to using electric vehicles, only positives.

“Looking to the future they could be put in lampposts so that every street has them.

“Everyone has to share in the responsibility for looking after the world, so there is no excuse.”