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Nissan LEAF launched as UK’s first community electric car


An all-electric Nissan LEAF has been launched as a community electric car at the Ashton Hayes ‘Going Carbon Neutral’ project .

This small Cheshire village is aiming to be the first community in the UK to go carbon neutral, and the electric LEAF is playing an important role in the plan.


The LEAF can be used by any driver over the age of 18 in Ashton Hayes, providing zero-emission transport. The hope is that this may also enable some residents to avoid running a second car, which in some cases may currently be a vehicle with relatively high emissions.

The Ashton Hayes LEAF has its own garage with a solar-panelled roof, which helps to supplement the renewable-tariff electricity that powers the charge point. Although the LEAF has zero tailpipe emissions, this recharging system ensures that the electricity to charge the car is also zero emission.


People who join the Ashton Hayes electric car club get access to its Nissan Leaf, but they can also hire vehicles in the Commonwheels fleet of hire cars. recommended the LEAF and helped to secure one of the first examples in the UK as the community electric vehicle.


The launch of community electric car, low carbon pavilion and new recreation field took place on the same day as the Wimbledon Men’s Final, but still drew a huge crowd.

The car park at the new recreation ground has been sustainably resurfaced with recycled road materials with the help of local people.


The Going Carbon Neutral Project raised the finance for the building and car (£300,000) – thanks to DECC.

Located in rural Cheshire, Ashton Hayes is a well-knit community of around 1000 people that is aiming to become England’s first carbon neutral community.


The village started its journey in January 2006 and since then it has already cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 23% – by working together, sharing ideas and through behavioural change.

Ashton Hayes is about to start work on its community-owned renewable energy power station.

For more information about Ashton Hayes visit