In UK, Nissan LEAF Provides Quiet Ride Through National Park

By · February 25, 2013

Nissan LEAF at Upcott House

A Nissan LEAF getting charged up at the Upcott House, and readied for an "electric safari" at nearby Dartmoor National Park.

National parks are often home to delicate ecosystems with wildlife that shouldn't be disturbed by the roar of combustion engines or the stench of tailpipe emissions. Yet, the only way for most people to gain access to nature parks is in a car. A luxury B&B in the U.K. has the answer: offer visitors a guided tour in an all-electric quiet Nissan LEAF.

Kay Bickley is an innkeeper, environmentalist and EV charging organizer />

Kay Bickley is an innkeeper, environmentalist and EV charging organizer.

"So many of our guests come to us to enjoy the stunning Dartmoor scenery and so using the LEAF to give them a safari-style experience seemed like the perfect idea," said Upcott House Proprietor, Kay Bickley, in an interview posted at U.K.'s The Green Car Website. "We already had two LEAFs and so we knew first-hand how the model’s near silent running made driving through the park even more pleasurable. Now our guests are able to enjoy the same wonderful experience."

Upcott House is an award-winning luxury bed and breakfast, located in Devon, a county located in southwest England. The B&B, situated less than a mile from the town of Okehampton, overlooks the Okement Valley and the
72 acres of Dartmoor National Park.

Bickley installed a public charger at eco-friendly Upcott House and the LEAFs were supplied by nearby JFE Nissan Exeter. According to the Upcott House website, it offers "one of only two charging stations in the South West between Exeter, Bristol and Cornwall that offers free charging along the lines of WiFi Fon network." The B&B employs a host of energy-saving strategies, and has ground-mounted 10 kilowatt hour solar photovoltaic array (which makes its LEAF that much greener).

Horse at Darmoor National Park

An ultra-quiet electric car allows visitors to get close to the world-famous Dartmoor ponies without alarming them the animals.

According to Okehampton People, a local website, Bickley represents Okehampton's Electric Vehicle Charging Network, and received £15,000 (about $22,500) to help develop a network of 40 charging stations and five travel hubs for vehicles across Dartmoor. The awarding panel from the Dartmoor National Park Authority said, once the network was established, Dartmoor would become a model for rural accessibility for electric vehicle users.

"I’ve never heard of a LEAF being used for anything like this before but it makes perfect sense," said Matthew Holcombe, JFE sales manager. "The LEAF’s a really comfortable car in which to do a bit of sightseeing and the fact it’s so quiet and cheap to run make it the ideal vehicle for the electric safari."

The list of national parks that offer electric car charging in the United States includes: Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley in Wyoming; Zion National Park in Utah; and Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee.

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