It might even help you convince one or two hesistant buyers to take the EV route!
Interest in the LEAF is growing daily. It’s becoming more widely available, in the UK as well as right across the world, and more and more people seem to be getting behind it.
There are quite a few high-profile LEAF lovers in the UK, such as Robert Llewellyn, Mark Goodier, and Mark Reynier of the Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland – and now the good folks at Gatwick Airport have joined the EV revolution. An all-electric, emission-free LEAF has been in use there for several months.
Gatwick is one of Europe’s busiest airports, with around 30 million passengers passing through its North and South terminals each year. So it was vital that the LEAF was able to rise to the challenge of being used in such a demanding environment.
And the verdict of the people who drive it? Well, they’re pretty keen. Joe Attwood, Gatwick Airport’s Sustainability and Delivery Leader, kindly answered a few questions for us.
Why did Gatwick Airport decide to use a LEAF as opposed to any other sort of vehicle?
The Nissan LEAF came to our attention through its Car of the Year award and we decided that using a vehicle with such an accolade would sit well with our introduction of public electric car charging points.
How long have you had the car?
About six months.
Have you been pleased with it?
Yes we have. It drives incredibly well and once the novelty value had worn off users regard it just another car – which is just what we wanted.
For the first few months we have been using the car for public engagements and for driving visitors, for example, MPs, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport, around the airport. Now we are looking to use it on the airfield to increase its exposure to the travelling public. We intend to use it for marshalling aircraft.
Who drives it, just one person, or a variety of people?
A variety of people so staff get used to the idea of driving an electric car
Do the people who use it like driving it?
They love it.
Based on your experiences of the LEAF would you consider getting another one or maybe even more?
We would definitely consider it.
What do you think are the car’s best features?
Every person likes the car for different reasons – I prefer the roominess of the vehicle – it feels and drives like a conventional car and is exceptionally comfortable.
Any other thoughts please?
I think this car is absolutely perfect to show the move away from prototypes into a car that people would expect to be able to drive and I can see it definitely being popular in the future when the prices come more into line with the cost people would expect to pay for a car of this size.