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Turning over a new LEAF...26 Oct 2011

Staff from the Port of Tyne are taking one of Nissan's new LEAFs, its first electric powered car, as part of a trial investigating the feasibility of driving an electric vehicle.

The Nissan LEAF will be manufactured at the car giant's Washington plant from 2013 and will be exported across the world via the Port of Tyne's car terminals at South Shields.

The very first Nissan LEAFs to arrive in the UK caused a stir when they arrived through the Port of Tyne in February. "It seemed very appropriate that our staff should take part in the Switch EV trial, particularly using the Nissan LEAF, as it will not be long before we are seeing them exported all over the world from our site," said James Wright, Environmental Officer for Port of Tyne. "It's one way of demonstrating that we are committed to improving the environment in a number of ways and of course supports our customer, Nissan."

Switch EV is one of eight electric vehicle demonstration projects in the UK. Over the next three years, 44 all electric vehicles will be seen on the streets of the North East operated by various organisations in the trial, providing data and feedback on life with an electric car. The Port will lease one of them for six months and it will be allocated to employees living in various locations across the region for three weeks each. This includes the CEO Andrew Moffat who is delighted to be swapping his diesel hungry vehicle for the quiet efficiency of the Nissan LEAF. "I am looking forward to trying it out and being part of the scheme at its very start," he said. "We'll also be looking at trying out electric work vehicles on site as we make progress on our environmental strategy."

Another recipient is Director of Human Resources, Geoff Gillon, who lives in Red Row, the furthest from the Port of those who are taking part in the trial. "At a cost of only £2.40 that's a lot less than filling the tank up," said Geoff, "but I'll be keeping a very careful eye on the gauge when it's my turn for the trial!"

So far the reaction has been good. James added: "The Nissan LEAF is very easy, comfortable and actually relaxing to drive because it's so quiet. For motorists there is no road tax to pay and there will be free parking privileges in some places. It's a great starting point for us to see the benefits both for the environment and efficiencies in the long term."


For more information please contact Sarah Piggett, Marketing & Communications Intern
Tel: 0191 455 2671       Mob: 07807 686524       E-mail:

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