A DRIVING instructor has become the first in the UK to teach pupils using an all-electric car. Paul Tomlin, has bought a Nissan LEAF from the Holdcroft dealership and says that both he and his pupils are delighted with it.
Paul, of Waterdale Grove, Longton, says that he bought the car to save money and do his bit to help the environment but adds that it also makes his pupils better and safer drivers.
He says: “I had been looking at electric cars for some time and when I tested one it just felt right. There was a bit of a problem fitting dual controls but that was soon sorted.
“Being a driving instructor it is a bit difficult to be green because I do about 25,000 miles a year but this is a zero emission car and I save around £2,800 annually on running costs too. I recharge it during my lunch break and it works well.”
And Paul says that the LEAF is good for students too. It is exceptionally easy to drive because it has no gears, instant throttle response and there is virtually no noise and it also has a display showing the driver how much energy they are using or putting back into the battery.
Paul says: “The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is very keen these days to promote ‘eco-safe’ driving which is based on driving efficiently by proper observation and anticipation and not wasting energy. The LEAF is the ideal car for this because you can see instantly how much power you are using. Because there are no gears and because it is so easy to control my pupils can devote more attention to the road and traffic.”
One pupil has already passed her test in the LEAF after failing twice before in other cars.
Paul adds: “Since I took delivery of the Nissan LEAF there has been lots of interest from my fellow instructors and it’s easy to see why. The pupils love the car and the immediate success they have had underlines what an easy car the LEAF is to drive. For me personally I’m happy to now avoid the petrol stations and I feel happier for the environment by driving a zero emissions vehicle.”
David Dillon, dealer principal at Holdcroft Nissan, adds: “We’re happy to see the LEAF become the first electric driving instructor vehicle and thrilled for the pupils successfully passing in the car. With the pass success Paul has already enjoyed with a 100 per cent electric car, many young learners future first driving experience could well be in a LEAF.”
ASK does also teach learners in a manual gearbox car.