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Martin takes the road to greener motoring

A Teesside academic is among a gradually growing number of motorists now taking the road to greener driving.

Martin Towell, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance in the University’s Business School, is amo Martin Towell, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance in the University’s Business School, is among the first users of the four new electric car charging points located at the University’s Quadrangle car park.

Back in the April edition of Grapevine, Denis Minchell, Head of Estates, explained that four electric car charging points on campus were now live.

Staff and members of the public can use the bays to charge their electric cars after registering with www.chargeyourcar.org.uk and paying £100 registration fee. The University is also engaged in commissioning a further three charging points at the new Darlington building.

Martin recently bought one of the first fully electric cars to be sold in this country, the Nissan Leaf. It will be produced by Nissan at its Sunderland plant by 2012. He previously drove to and from work using a diesel engine car.

He said: ‘It takes around eight hours for the car to fully charge, which I do when it’s parked up at home, but being able to charge the car for a few hours while I’m at work at the University ensures the charge is kept topped up.

‘I can travel around 100 miles when the car is fully charged. When I’m planning to drive a long distance it does means I have to plan my journey to ensure there are charging points along the route, although the Leaf has a sat-nav system which directs the driver to the nearest charging points when the charge is becoming low.’

He decided to switch from his diesel car to the electric car largely due to the rising cost of diesel, with the environmental aspect of the car having zero emissions being an added bonus.

Martin said: ‘A few of my friends were initially sceptical about the electric car, but I’ve converted them all. It’s a very smooth drive. A lot of supermarkets are installing rapid charge points and I’m sure that as more people buy electric cars we’ll see many more charging points becoming available.’

The University has limited the time available for the free charging points to initially two hours per period until demand is known.

Denis Minchell, Head of Estates, said: ‘Since it is likely most people will charge their cars at home overnight, to be fair to all it was considered all that would be needed at the University was a ‘top up’ and two hours access was considered a reasonable access time.’

Martin Towell, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance in the University’s Business School, is amo

16 May 2011 | Grapevine 110