Drivers of the world’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan LEAF, are edging towards the milestone of clocking up 1 billion kilometres of low-cost, low-carbon motoring.
Owners of more than 100,000 Nissan LEAFs worldwide have now collectively saved over £50 million through cheaper fuelling costs and are responsible for removing 204,000 tonnes of potential CO2 emissions from the environment.
The LEAF costs 1p-a-kilometre to run compared to more than 6.25p-a-kilometre for conventional, petrol-powered cars, meaning the billion km mark has now saved owners a combined £52.5 million.
It also emits zero CO2 emissions whilst driving, whereas according to the Government the average car on the UK roads today is responsible for emitting 204.6 grams of carbon dioixide (CO2) per kilometre.
To celebrate the nearing achievement, Nissan is releasing a series of animated stories to capture the advantages of the popular electric car, beginning with Spanish cab driver Roberto San Jose.
Roberto, from Valladolid, narrates his own story as the first taxi driver in Spain to buy a Nissan LEAF, explaining that since buying his LEAF in October 2011 he has covered over 100,000 km and eliminated three-quarters of his running costs.
"As long as my car is my business, my car will be a Nissan LEAF," he says. The LEAF makes perfect sense. It's relaxing to drive and it's such a smooth ride that my clients love it too."
Jean Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe, said: "Stories like Roberto's are powerful reminders of how buying a Nissan LEAF can revolutionise a business today. He is one of many pioneers reaping the unique benefits of electric vehicles - and that number is growing by the day.”
And in the UK, motor dealers are reporting a “contagious EV bug”, with people who now own an electric vehicle saying they don’t want to go back to a petrol engine.
Managing Director of West Way Nissan, Niall MacLaren, spoke about the success of the Nissan LEAF at West Way, “We’re very excited to be a part of British drivers going green on the road. Our Electric Courtesy Car scheme allows all customers who visit one of our dealerships for a Service, MOT or Repair to get a taste of what electric driving feels like and how easily it can fit in with their lifestyle.
“As a result, there has been an increase in enquiries about the car and it is becoming more and more popular amongst our customers. It is clear that driving an electric vehicle is moving from a desirable concept to an exciting reality for many people.”
Following Roberto’s story, Nissan has launched animations featuring the stories of LEAF owners Pascal di Stefano and Vito Mondelli. Pascal, from Aix-en-Provence in France reveals how he has rediscovered his pleasure of driving in his Nissan LEAF. "I bought it as a second car," he explains, "but in fact I mostly use the LEAF now."
Vito Mondelli, from Bari in Italy, describes the time he decided to drive to the picturesque town of Taranto, over 100km away. His friends said he would never make it in an electric car however he proved them wrong, knowing that when fully charged he can drive his LEAF well over 100km, even on the motorway. His animation shows how he covered the distance in style, leading Vito to the conclusion that in his LEAF he feels he "doesn't have any boundaries."
It is estimated that the billion kilometre mark will be passed by the end of the year - rising sales and a rapidly expanding quick charge network mean the target might be beaten even earlier.
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