Elec­tric car of­fered up for test drives

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - JEF­FREY KITT

An elec­tric­ity lines com­pany is giv­ing power back to the peo­ple in the form of four wheels.

Marl­bor­ough Lines has added a fully elec­tric car to its fleet and wants peo­ple in the re­gion to take the cut­ting-edge car for a test drive.

The Nis­san Leaf is a pol­lu­tion­free, zero car­bon car which can travel 200 kilo­me­tres on a sin­gle charge.

Marl­bor­ough Lines man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ken For­rest says the car is a prac­ti­cal ad­di­tion for staff on short-range jobs.

‘‘It’s an elec­tric ve­hi­cle, this will be a thing of the fu­ture. And we’d like to give peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to try it,’’ he says.

‘‘Given our busi­ness is elec­tric­ity and that we serve the com­mu­nity, we thought ‘why not?’

‘‘And this won’t be a white ele­phant, we want the com­mu­nity to take own­er­ship of it.’’

The $38,000 car was im­ported

‘‘Any­one is wel­come to come and give it a test drive, but we won’t be pay­ing any tick­ets.’’

from the United King­dom last week with just a touch over 10,000km on the odome­ter.

Ken says any­one with a full driv­ing li­cence can book a time with the com­pany to take the Nis­san Leaf for a spin.

‘‘Any­one is wel­come to come and give it a test drive, but we won’t be pay­ing any tick­ets,’’ he says. ’’This is a great op­por­tu­nity for the peo­ple of Marl­bor­ough to try out an elec­tric car.’’

Driv­ers may be sur­prised at how the ve­hi­cle han­dles com­pared to a conventional ve­hi­cle, Ken says.

The Leaf loses charge while climb­ing hills, but gains ex­tra bat­tery life when de­scend­ing as it cre­ates power from brak­ing.

A power plug at­taches to the en­gine and al­lows the car to be charged on a house­hold three-pin out­let.

It costs about $7.20 to fully charge the 2016 Nis­san Leaf, which can reach a top speed of about 140kmh.

‘‘This car is not for all pur­poses, but it does show the po­ten­tial for elec­tric cars,’’ Ken says.

The elec­tric car will join the Marl­bor­ough Lines fleet for the use of power line in­spec­tors.

There are no pub­lic charg­ing sta­tions in Blenheim. Ken hopes this will change in the com­ing years.

PHOTO: SCOTT HAM­MOND/STUFF

Ken For­rest, Marl­bor­ough Lines man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Marl­bor­ough Lines man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ken For­rest is invit­ing the Marl­bor­ough com­mu­nity to come and test drive the elec­tric car.

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