Chichester family go green with electric car

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It was green for go with a difference when a family from Chichester swapped their diesel car for an electric car for Green Transport Week.

The McCormack family were given the chance to try a Nissan Leaf for a day thanks to Yeomans Nissan in Worthing, and got to charge it up at the electric car charge points at the car park at Chichester District Council’s offices in East Pallant.

Siobhan McCormack and her children Seamus, seven, Conor, five, and Ava, three, tested the car out to see if they could make the switch and carried out all their normal activities which included the school run, going to work and visiting the park.

“I was impressed with the car,” said Siobhan. “It was a lot quieter then I thought and the children thought the car was cool.

“It was interesting to see on the monitors how much energy I was using.

“You use a lot more energy if you go faster, or if you use air conditioning for example. It starts to make you aware of how much energy you are using.

“I feel very happy using it for our Chichester-based journeys.

“ You tend to get a lot of eco guilt when you use the diesel car for short journeys around the city.

“We try to bike or use the bus for those journeys because of that, but I would be happy with this as our second car. I would definitely consider buying one after testing this one.”

The council’s senior environmental protection officer Simon Ballard, said: “The aim of this challenge was to show the family first-hand the benefits that an electric car can offer.

“They really enjoyed taking part in the challenge and I’m delighted they would now seriously consider swapping their diesel car for an electric one on a permanent basis.”

The recharging points were installed this year and are part of a network of 22 recharging points in 11 locations across the county to help provide the infrastructure needed to help more people switch to electric cars.

They were installed free of charge by Southern Electric, as part of a street lighting contract with West Sussex County Council.

Residents can pay an annual membership of £50 to join the Charge Your Car scheme, which uses smart card technology to enable motorists to charge their cars.

It costs around £200 to drive an electric car 10,000 miles, compared to around £1,500 for a diesel car.

It is hoped the recharging points in East Pallant car park will be among thousands across the country after the government said it wanted more to be introduced over the next three years.

For more information about the scheme log onto www.chargeyourcar.org.uk or call 0191 265 0500.