St Albans test driver needs your vote to win electric car

PUBLISHED: 12:08 14 April 2012 | UPDATED: 12:24 16 April 2012

Alex Walsh tests electric car.

Alex Walsh tests electric car.

Archant

WHEN a St Albans dad was asked to put an electric car through its paces as part of an international competition, he was expecting it to be like driving "a milk float without the bottles".

But almost two weeks on, 37-year-old Alex Walsh admits he couldn’t have been more wrong.

Blogger Alex, aka Daddacool, was handpicked to take part in The Big Turn On competition, run by car manufacturer Nissan.

He said: “I was contacted a couple of months ago to ask if I would take part and I said yes straight away.”

The contest involves 40 bloggers from across the UK, Netherlands, France and Germany and sees them test-driving the 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAF for two weeks.

Throughout this time they must record their experiences and promote the vehicle as much as they can, to be in with a chance of winning the actual car.

The winner will be the one who gains the most votes or ‘turn ons’ through their promotion.

In a bid to see how well the car can cope with modern life in St Albans, dad-of-three Alex has fully embraced the challenge by swapping the family’s Vauxhall Zafira for the high-tech LEAF.

He said: “I was looking forward to driving the LEAF because it shows you don’t have to be a hippy to be environmentally responsible.

“We were quite surprised that we could fit five of us in comfortably and still have room for the pushchair in the boot.”

The LEAF can charge up to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes and can also be plugged in at home. A full charge will last for 110 miles and costs just £1.91.

The benefits of this became even more evident to Alex during the recent petrol panic, which saw huge queues forming at petrol stations across the country.

He continued: “Having the electric car obviously had its benefits in that I didn’t need any petrol; however that didn’t actually stop me getting stuck in the queues of cars unfortunately!”

Accountant Alex has been showing off the car by taking people for test drives locally. He also showcased it at the recent PM in the Pub event.

He said: “It’s had a lot of interest from people. They don’t expect it to perform like a normal car but it does.

“To be honest, I expected it to be like a milk float without the bottles but it’s not at all; it surges forward when you put your foot down.”

People have also been struck by just how quiet the car is – much to the detriment of an unassuming pigeon last week!

Alex is due to give the car back after the weekend and will continue with the promotion until April 30, after which the winner will be announced. St Albans itself could also benefit if Alex is triumphant as Nissan will be installing specialist electric charging points in the winning city.

Summing up the experience so far Alex concluded: “I’ve been really impressed by it, as I didn’t realise just how far electric cars had come. But it’s not like I’m making a huge statement by driving it, it’s just like a normal car.”

You can vote for Alex by visiting: www.the-big-turn-on.co.uk/challenge/blogger/daddacool-alex-walsh.html

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