Electric car test drives hit the fast lane

Fourteen people yesterday each took delivery of a 100% electric Nissan Leaf car as part of a major low carbon vehicle test drive in North East England. The Switch EV […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Fourteen people yesterday each took delivery of a 100% electric Nissan Leaf car as part of a major low carbon vehicle test drive in North East England.

The Switch EV project, which began last September, is one of eight UK projects supported by the Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles Demonstrator Programme and is aimed at accelerating the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Britain.

The 14 drivers will use the five-seater vehicle as their own car for six months to experience and report on life with an electric car.

The cars were handed over at the Nissan Sunderland Plant in the presence of UK Minister for Business and Enterprise Mark Prisk, who said: “The UK government has set a clear ambition of placing the country at the global forefront of low and ultra low carbon vehicle development. Nissan in Sunderland has taken up the challenge.

“Today I’m delighted to hand over the keys to these 14 Nissan Leafs so people can experience and feedback valuable information on what it’s really like to drive an electric car as part of the largest project of its kind in the world.”

Trevor Mann, Nissan senior vice-president for manufacturing in Europe, said: “Today marks a major milestone in the advancement of electric vehicles in the UK. The drive home today will be enough for these drivers to realise that driving the Nissan Leaf does not mean they have to compromise on driving experience or performance.”