Gatwick Airport’s CEO, Stewart Wingate, today drove a Nissan LEAF - the first mass-produced, 100% electric family car through North Terminal check-in to mark the airport’s new partnership with the innovative vehicle manufacturer. This is the first time that a car has ever been allowed to drive inside an airport terminal building - made possible because of the zero-emissions omitted by the Nissan LEAF.
This partnership also coincides with the launch of eight new public charging points at the airport as Gatwick plays its part in providing the necessary infrastructure to support the growing number of electric vehicles on Britain’s roads. These charging points, located in the short stay car parks in both the North and South Terminals, will be available for motorists to use free of charge for a period of 12 months.
Electric vehicle motorists who want to power up using one of the charging points will be able to park for free for up to four hours, enough time to charge the car by more than half. Four of the charging points are part of the ‘Source London’ network, the capital’s first city-wide electric charge point network. The remaining four charging points plug into the national recharging network ‘Pod Point’.
The partnership signals Gatwick’s strong commitment to reducing the airport’s CO2 emissions as it moves to increase the number of low emission vehicles driven by Gatwick teams by up to 20% by 2015.
Responsible growth is core to Gatwick’s overall ambition to grow and become London’s airport of choice. Gatwick can see a clear path to growing to 40 million passengers each year by the end of the decade but wants to achieve that growth through responsible environmental management. Partnering with Nissan to encourage greater take-up of cleaner vehicles, and plugging in to ‘Source London’ and the national charging network ‘Pod Point’ is key to delivering against that ambition.
Stewart Wingate said: “Opting to partner with Nissan LEAF to promote and support the use of electric vehicles was an obvious choice for us as the brand’s goals fit with our own values and aspirations at Gatwick.
“We are driving a programme to incentivise the use of cleaner vehicles across the airport community and have set ourselves an ambitious target to push our own use of low emission vehicles to 20% by 2015.
“Providing passengers with a wide range of sustainable travel options is also important to us and today, 40% of our 32 million passengers opt to use public transport for their inward or outbound journey. That is an increase of 2% on last year. The fact that we now support electric vehicle motorists with the provision of free charging points is great news and offer great convenience for electric vehicle motorists,” added Stewart.
Paul Willcox, Managing Director at Nissan said: “We are delighted to partner with Gatwick airport and support its commitment to reducing CO2 output in and around the airport. Big businesses are discovering that the Nissan LEAF makes financial as well as environmental sense. And Gatwick’s new charging points in the car park will make it practical for drivers to refuel their LEAF while they’re inside the terminal!”
Nick Fairholme, TfL Interim Director of Congestion Charging and Traffic Enforcement, said: “Electric vehicles are no longer just for testing. There are many reasons for Londoners to consider having one of their own. Source London is a significant element of our work to support the Mayor’s aim to make this city the electric vehicle capital of Europe. These new Source London charge points at Gatwick form part of a network destined to increase the number of electric vehicles and give drivers the confidence to use their electric vehicles.”