A Hartlepool driver has become the first in Europe to take delivery of a new-look Nissan Leaf.
Leo Moran, 63, collected the keys to his special edition black Nissan LEAF 2.ZERO at Bristol Street Motors Darlington.
The retired police officer, who served with Cleveland Police for 30 years — including driving high-performance response cars — converted to electric motoring a year ago when he purchased a 30kWh Leaf.
As soon as the new edition of the Sunderland-built all-electric hatchback was announced, he began investigating and ordered the launch edition just before the end of last year.
“I’ve driven many cars of all shapes and sizes, and many performance cars, but I can say hand on heart the Leaf is the best car I’ve ever driven,” he said.
“I’ve spent the last year singing the praises of the Nissan Leaf and now I have the new edition I cannot wait to get out and play, go on adventures and enjoy the drive.”
The Leaf is the world’s most advanced mass-market electric vehicle and uses the Japanerse car giant’s Intelligent Mobility vision, which is defined by how the car is driven, how it is powered and how it integrates into society.
Mr Moran said he was excited to discover all the new features on the Nissan LEAF, not least the e-Pedal, which allows the driver to accelerate, slow down and stop using just one pedal.
“The great thing about the e-Pedal is it gives so much back to the driver,” he said.
“Technology is a wonderful thing but it often leads to us as drivers forgetting fundamental skills. With the e-Pedal you become more aware of your surroundings and drive in an entirely new way.
“And with the bigger battery and increased range, I can visit my friends in Scotland and Manchester on one charge. I’m really looking forward to seeing how far I can go.
“I’ve also made some investigations into getting the Nissan X-Storage and solar panels at my home, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that soon.”
Terry O’Neill, Dealer Principal at Bristol Street Motors, said: “We’re thrilled to be the first dealership in the UK to present the all-new Nissan Leaf, and to a fantastic customer who really is a Leaf champion.”
Prices for the Leaf, including a £4,500 government grant, start at £21,990 (OTR) for the entry-grade Visia model, rising to £29,155 for the top-of-the-range Tekna model.