Nissan is to fund the installation of Lincoln’s first public electric vehicle charging point , following the recent Top Gear
feature which highlighted the lack of charging infrastructure in the East Midlands city.
In the television programme, presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May drove a pair of electric vehicles, including the Nissan LEAF, into the centre of Lincoln in an attempt to find somewhere to charge their cars.
Having failed to find any public infrastructure the pair were forced to charge at the University in the centre of the city, dangling cables through an open window.
Should the presenters choose to attempt the journey again in future, they will discover a newly-installed PodPoint charging unit dedicated to them. With two sockets, it would allow both Jeremy and James to recharge their batteries at the same time.
Charging will be free of charge to electric vehicle owners.
Councillor Fay Smith, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services and Public Protection at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “The Top Gear programme highlighted the fact that Lincoln does not currently provide for electric cars and we’re really pleased that Nissan is now funding a charging point. We’re committed to reducing the city’s carbon footprint, but know that we can’t do it alone, so it’s great that private businesses like Nissan are getting behind this and putting in the infrastructure.”
The PodPoint charging unit is due to be installed before the end of the month and the presenters will be invited to return to Lincoln and be the first to plug in to the new charger.
Top Gear Executive Producer Andy Wilman said: “This is excellent news for the electric car community of Lincoln. If the charging point had existed when Top Gear were there, James wouldn’t now be walking around with Jeremy’s name tattooed on his bottom. Still, better late than never.”
Nissan’s Executive Vice President Andy Palmer said: “Research tells us that most LEAF owners will charge their car at home or at their place of work, but drivers like having the ability to ‘top up’ their charge when they are out and about, especially if they are making longer journeys. With its new charging points and the fame generated by Top Gear , Lincoln could find itself becoming a tourist destination for Nissan LEAF owners.”
The Nissan LEAF costs £25,990 on-the-road, after the £5000 government plug-in car grant.
It can be charged via a conventional three-pin socket, or by a fast charger which allows an 80% charge from empty in less than half an hour. One conventional charge plus a rapid charge gives a range of almost 200 miles per day.
Fast chargers are currently available at all Nissan EV dealers.
Nissan recommends fast charging only once a day in order to preserve battery life. Properly maintained, the LEAF battery is expected to provide useful service for the lifetime of the vehicle.