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Sovereign opts for zero emission pool car

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Sovereign today became the first company in New Zealand to purchase the world's first mass-produced, fully electric, zero emission vehicle; the Nissan LEAF.

The Nissan LEAF is the culmination of decades of investment and research and embodies Nissan's radical, transformative vision for the future.

Sovereign plans to use the Nissan LEAF as a company pool car, and Mercury Energy has developed a specially designed fuel package to ensure that Sovereign's commitment to sustainability translates into real savings. A purpose-built charging station has been installed onsite at Sovereign's head office at Smales Farm on Auckland's North Shore.

Sovereign CEO Charles Anderson says: "The world is changing like never before. Sovereign takes the consumption of resources and our impact on the environment seriously and we are pleased to be able to demonstrate our leadership in this area.

"Sovereign, New Zealand's largest life insurer, is committed to a sustainability agenda, and we believe the Nissan LEAF and evolution to fully-electric vehicles that maximise the use of New Zealand's renewable energy sources is an important step in technology innovation, and are proud to be the first to purchase this ground-breaking vehicle," he says.

"We're re-defining our business practices to ensure we make the most positive impact we can on our environment and community."

Nissan New Zealand Managing Director John Manley says that while the vehicle is a world first and full of innovation, it's also been designed for real world requirements.

"Unlike other electric vehicles, the Nissan LEAF is, to all intents, like any other five door, mid-range sedan," says Manley.

"In addition to its full functionality, it also boasts a superior recyclability rate; not only are the vehicles comprised of a high percentage of recycled plastics, fabrics and other materials, but at the end of their life span, 99 per cent of materials will again be recycled to create new Nissan LEAF vehicles or other plastic products," says Manley.

"It is exciting to see Sovereign demonstrating its commitment to sustainability initiatives by being the first company in New Zealand to experience the Nissan LEAF."

In support of electric vehicle usage in New Zealand, Mercury Energy has developed an electric vehicle fuel package for individuals or businesses that purchase a Nissan LEAF and has extended this offer to Sovereign, giving them 30 per cent off their off-peak electricity recharge costs.

Mercury Energy General Manager James Munro says when someone buys a Nissan LEAF, the company will fit special technology in the customer's home which allows them to measure the power used to charge the car, separating this from general household consumption.

Munro says: "To give you an idea of the savings; let's say you live here at Smales Farm, but work in the CBD. If you were a Nissan LEAF owner using Mercury's fuel package, your commute to work and back for a full month would cost you around $20. This compares to the $120 (approximately) that you would pay if you drove an equivalent-sized, petrol-fuelled car.

"Electric cars have the potential to transform the transport sector and Mercury is proud to be getting involved in this exciting space early on," says Munro. "We want to learn as much as possible about this technology and how people use it so we can design products and services of real value to future electric vehicle owners."

Among other awards and recognition, the Nissan LEAF won both the 2011 World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show and the 2011 European Car of the Year.

"The Nissan LEAF really does usher in a new era in the global automotive industry," says Nissan's John Manley. "Nissan New Zealand is in discussions with several other companies and is confident the LEAF will prove popular with sustainability-conscious companies, organisations and individuals."

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