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Saturday, 01 November 2014

Green Leaf proves itself just the cup of tea for eco-aware Cumbria motorists

BOSSES at a car showroom in Cumbria say they have seen a massive increase in the number of customers asking about electric cars.

Barton Townley’s sales director, Rob Medcalfe, said an increasing number of people, from all walks of life, have been enquiring about the Nissan Leaf.

“We’re finding more and more people asking about the Leaf,” Mr Medcalfe said.

“The benefits to driving an electric car speak for themselves: no road tax, massively reduced ongoing costs – and all while at the same time feeling you’re helping the environment.”

Both Mr Medcalfe and managing director Peter Helme drive a Leaf, which means they are ideally suited to sell the cars to potential customers.

“It only costs about £2 to fully charge the car and you get 120 miles from a full charge,” said Mr Medcalfe, who drives to work from Lindale.

And although some motorists may worry about finding their nearest charging point, Mr Medcalfe said government funding was helping to allay their fears.

He added: “The infrastructure is growing and that’s why we are getting so many more enquiries.

“Charging points are going up all over the place and the sat nav inside the car has all the public charging points programmed into it so you can plan your journey.”

Mr Helme, who has installed solar panels on the roof of the car showroom at James Freel Close, said that through driving his own Leaf he has been able to quash any misconceptions about electric cars.

“It’s every bit as quick as a petrol car and it’s smoother and incredibly quiet,” he said.

“There is a phobia among motorists, who think it won’t be the same as a normal car, but once you take one for a spin you quickly realise that’s not the case.”

Homeowners can also have a free charging point installed at their house through Cumbrian firm Solway Renewable Energy.

Suzanne Burgess, who runs the company with her husband Lawrence, said they had been inundated with requests for charging points to be installed in South Cumbria.

“We’ve been getting a lot of interest in the south of the county,” she said.

“People might think they don’t need one if they don’t have an electric car, but they may well get one in the future and so it makes sense to have a charging point installed now while it’s free through government funding.”

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