Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Quiet day at Silverstone


Two hundred and twenty five Nissan Leafs driving round the grand prix circuit doesn’t sound much of a spectacle. It’s apparently a Guinness World Record for the largest parade of electric vehicles. I would have thought a good morning at Unigate could match that. Or a biggish club with golf trolleys. Chrysler held the record until now. 218. Nissan Leaf owners travelled from around the UK from, “as far afield as Aberdeen and Belfast, to meet up at the world-famous circuit on Saturday 24th November.”

The stunt was organised by Nissan, “to bring together owners of the world’s best selling electric vehicle to share their ownership experiences and to gather information about how they use their cars.” Brave. Especially keeping all those lights on. How long did it take to drive a Leaf from Aberdeen to Northants? How many times did they charge the batteries? How long did it take in ampere-hours? They have only sold 499 Nissan Leafs so far this year, so 225 looks like getting on for half. Silverstone couldn’t accommodate half this year’s sales of, say, Minis. Nobody grudges the electric car industry some publicity, but “The multi-award winning Nissan LEAF has entered the record books again,” sounds like desperation. The Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says only 812 battery cars of all makes have been bought this year, notwithstanding the government largesse of £5,000 each. The Leaf is the most popular. None of the other five has sold a quarter as many. Citro├źn has managed only 21 C-Zeros. There’s one for the record books.

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