Laura Facey

Member Article

Gentoo Group test drive new Nissan LEAF

Staff from housing organisation, Gentoo Group, recently had the chance to try out the new Sunderland produced Nissan LEAF by taking them for a test drive around the Gateshead College Performance Track, previously the Nissan test track.

An expert team from Gateshead College were there to explain to staff the features of the electric vehicles, where and how to charge them and also answered any health and safety queries they had, so that they’ll be prepared when visiting Gentoo customers in the community. Everyone then had the chance to try out the electric vehicles by taking them around the performance track.

Gentoo recently leased seven Nissan LEAF over a two year period, from local car dealership Benfield Motors to use as energy efficient pool cars. It’s anticipated that the LEAF will cover 12,000 miles a year, saving 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions - a huge amount considering just one tonne weighs the same as ten baby elephants!

As well as helping the Group be more ‘Planet Smart’ they are proving to be more economical with 100 miles of travel costing just £2.29 to charge - that is 2p per mile.

Director of Gentoo Green, Sally Hancox said: “The Nissan LEAF have been a welcome addition to Gentoo and is a further step towards being planet smart and reducing our carbon emissions. It has been a great opportunity for staff to visit the Gateshead College Performance track and learn from the staff how to make the most of these electric vehicles.”

Mick Brophy, managing director for business, innovation and development at Gateshead College, said: “Our experience has been that once people get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, they are immediately converted. Electric vehicles will be a major part of the transport picture in the future and the event gave staff at Gentoo a fantastic opportunity to try out the vehicles for themselves in the unique environment of the Performance Track. The fact that Gentoo as a company has incorporated electric vehicles into their fleet as well as installing charge points at their premises shows their commitment to sustainable transport.”

Gentoo Group’s whole ethos is about believing nothing is impossible and finding new ways to challenge conventions, Gentoo aims to make society a better place to live and to make a real difference to the way people live their life. To find out more about Gentoo, visit for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.

Top 5 Facts

  1. There are 700 public standard charging points in the North East
  2. Electric Vehicles can travel 90-100 miles with zero direct emissions
  3. Research through the Switch EV project has shown that for over 90% of the time driving in the North East, the EV is within 5km of a charging point
  4. A 32-amp fast-charger can give up to 80% charge in just 30 minutes
  5. The cars are exempt from annual road tax.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Laura Facey .

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