The Mayor Newcastle, England, now drives around in an electric car! This makes him the first “Lord Mayor” in the UK to do so, as far as I know.
The revelation comes to us via a recent press statement from the Newcastle City Council — so it’s pretty clear that at least part of the reason for the switch is for good press, but still, a nice development.
Of course, saying that he drives around in an EV isn’t exactly right, as he is actually chauffeured in one.
The EV model in question is what is the most popular EV in the world as of 2014 (in terms of sales), the Nissan LEAF. So, he (or his handlers) certainly opted for a more “affordable” everyman model — as opposed to a higher-end EV like the Tesla Model S.
The recent press statement describes it thusly: “Used to transport the Lord Mayor to official engagements by the official chauffeur, the Nissan LEAF is fitted with a plaque bearing the Lord Mayor’s coat of arms, a city council flag and the city’s oldest number plate, OBB1.
“The groundbreaking move is part of the City of Newcastle’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, the environment and delivering maximum value for taxpayers.”
The reasons for the switch to an EV, according to the City of Newcastle, is partly to reduce carbon emissions/pollution, and partly to reduce transportation costs. So, partly high idealism, and partly practicality — the very same motives that drive many people to give the LEAF a go.
As part of the switch, EV charging stations are set to be installed at the Newcastle Civic Centre, and at the mayor’s official residence, the “Mansion House.”
“Trading in the previous vehicle for the Nissan LEAF is a tradition we are happy to break, as we go in search of savings wherever we can find them and continue efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. The car has zero emissions and it costs virtually nothing to run, so it’s an excellent addition to our growing fleet of electric vehicles,” stated Councillor George Pattison, the Lord Mayor of Newcastle. “And with the flag, crest, and plates attached it really looks the business too.”
I’ve gotta agree there, it’s certainly one of the more attractive EVs out there — not quite as stylish as the Model S (or some of the other luxury models out there), but still quite nice.
Image Credit: Newcastle City Council