A family of electric vehicle (EV) advocates are proving that long-distance journeys are possible in an EV – as they undertake a trip from Paris to Northern Ireland via the North East’s Charge your Car network in a Nissan LEAF.

Mark Nitters along with wife Rhona eight year-old son Alexander and six year-old daughter Louise are currently undertaking the 1500 mile round trip from Paris to Northern Ireland visiting family and friends in the Netherlands and Glasgow en-route. The Nitters family who live in the Grasse region of France made the decision to go “all electric” in 2008 after experiencing the “zen sensation” of driving a Toyota Prius an electric hybrid vehicle. Their first full electric vehicle was a Citroen Saxo Electrique and the family now use a Nissan LEAF company car. The family makes the same trip every year so now they have a family-sized electric car they decided there was no reason not to complete the journey in it.

The epic adventure was planned around the growing network of EV charging points on both sides of the Channel and the family became members of Charge your Car the North East’s Plugged in Places scheme in the process. 

During their journey the Nitters family will charge their vehicle around 21 times in total including two stops in the North East. Their long-distance electric adventure is being recorded in their blog Grasse Glasgow Electric 2012.

The family arrived in the region from Amsterdam via Ferry and charged at Bournemouth Gardens Whitley Bay while they explored the North Tyneside coast. They then made their way up to Berwick where made a lunch stop and used the quick charging station located at Haggerston Castle before continuing up to the Scotland. The ability to quick charge their LEAF meant they were able to make the journey from Newcastle to Glasgow in a day.

Charge your Car has been responsible for the installation of almost 400 EV charging points throughout the region to date. It also boasts ten quick charging stations the only comprehensive network of quick chargers anywhere in the UK. The accessibility of the network was vital to the family in planning their adventure. The Charge your Car scheme caters for regular and ad-hoc EV users via its membership scheme and innovative PAYG facility.

Commenting on the North East leg of the journey Mark said: “The publicly accessible charging points provided by Charge your Car and user friendly website for members has been great giving us peace of mind during our journey up to Scotland. Having access to quick chargers enabled us to complete the journey between Newcastle and Glasgow in just a day which was fantastic.”

Josey Wardle project manager for the Charge your Car said: “The Nitters family are fantastic ambassadors for electric vehicles and for the growing network of charging points here in the North East as well as other parts of the UK and Europe.

“We hope their experience recorded in their fantastic blog helps to overcome the myth that EVs are for only suitable for shorter journeys. With a growing number of EV charging points now in place in the North East I’m delighted that Charge your Car was able to play a part in their epic journey and that their experience of the charging point network here was a positive one.”

The North East Charge your Car project was launched in early 2010 after North East England was named as one of the first three areas to put in place a comprehensive electric vehicle infrastructure and was given funding to support the installation of charging posts in car parks on streets at residential and commercial locations.

Grants are available for any organisation wishing to have a charging point installed on their premises. For further information on the funding available visit the website.

Link to original Article


Original Publication Date: Mon 30 Jul 2012