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There could be more electric car chargers than petrol stations by 2020

There could be more electric car chargers than petrol stations by 2020

There could be more electric car chargers than petrol stations by 2020

The number of electric car charging points in the UK could exceed the amount of petrol stations within the next four years.

That’s according to research from Nissan, which revealed there were just 8,472 fuel stations in the UK at the end of 2015 – compared to 37,539 in 1970.

If that rate of decline continues, there’ll be fewer than 7,870 petrol stations in the UK by 2020.

Public electric car chargers, meanwhile, are multiplying – with 7,900 expected by 2020.

As electric cars increase in popularity, the number of chargers available for the public to use are increasing rapidly – from a few hundred as recently as five years ago, compared to more than 4,100 today.

Nissan’s EV manager, Edward Jones, said: “As electric vehicle sales take off, the charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving. Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us.

“As with similar breakthrough technologies, the adoption of electric vehicles should follow an ‘S-curve’ of demand. A gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying electric vehicles just as they would any other powertrain.”

Last month, we reported that EV chargers were about to overtake petrol stations in Scotland – with more than 550 charging points across the country, compared to fewer than 700 independent petrol stations.


Opinion

I’ve spent a couple of months with the Motoring Research long-term Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and using the charging network has been a real eye-opener.

While using a public charger (often enjoying free parking in a convenient location at the same time) is so much nicer than visiting a petrol station, it’s far from being perfect.

For a start, the Government really needs to step in and regulate public charge points. They’re operated by so many different companies in different areas, actually having the correct card to use is a lottery. I’ve got around this to some extent by using Chargemaster’s Polar Plus card, at a cost of £7.85 a month (after a six-month free trial). But there are still points out there that I can’t use – annoying in a PHEV, potentially day-ruining in a fully-electric car.

The monopoly of motorway service station chargers is owned by Ecotricity. The green energy company has shown its true colours recently by hitting EV drivers with an excessive £6 fee for 30 minutes charging. Moves like that makes running electric cars almost as expensive as petrol cars – take away the incentives, and that ‘tipping point’ Nissan talks about is a long way off.

Andrew Brady


Nissan points out that the electric car charger to petrol station ratio is particularly high in London, where only four conventional fuel stations remain within the congestion charge zone. One of the country’s oldest petrol stations, the Bloomsbury Service Station, opened in 1926 and was closed in 2008.

The joint Government and car industry campaign for alternatively-fuelled vehicles, Go Ultra Low, reports that more than 115 electric cars were registered every day in the first quarter of 2016, equivalent to one every 13 minutes.

It claims electric power could be the dominant form of propulsion for all new cars sold in the UK as early as 2027 – with more than 1.3m electric cars registered each year.

Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic GamesTo celebrate the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, we take a look back at 60 years of official cars and Olympic specials. And we promise not to mention Duran Duran, while avoiding any half-baked references to driving in the sand. On your marques…

We start with the Summer Games, before switching to the cars of the Winter Games.

Rio 2016: NissanGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Nissan is supplying 4,200 vehicles to ‘meet the day-to-day mobility’ of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Among the vehicles will be more than 200 of the Nissan Kicks crossover – the official vehicle of the Games. There’s no word on whether or not the Kicks will be sold in the UK.

Rio 2016: NissanGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Alongside the Kick, Nissan will also supply a fleet including the March (Micra), Versa, Sentra, Altima and Frontier. Francois Dossa, president of Nissan Brazil, said: “The fleet delivery is an important moment for us because this directly involves our vehicles, most of which were produced in Brazil”.

Rio 2016: Nissan Golf LeafGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Meanwhile, back in Blighty, Sir Chris Hoy unveiled a gold Nissan Leaf at the Lee Valley Velopark in Stratford. All Nissan-sponsored athletes who win a gold medal at the Rio Games will also win a special gold-wrapped Leaf to mark their achievement. Ambassadors include Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Max Whitlock, David Weir CBE and Richard Whitehead MBE.

London 2012: BMWGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

In 2012, James Bond and the Queen jumped from a helicopter, Great Britain won a few gold medals and London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games. As the main automotive sponsor, BMW supplied a fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles, 1,550 of which were 320d saloons.

London 2012: BMWGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

BMW supplied 10 X5s for towing duties, 700 5 Series for transfer duties, MINI Cooper Ds for on-demand taxi work and a number of MINI E electric cars. BMW paid £50m to be among the top sponsors, but later told Marketing: “It’s a one-off, but it [the sponsorship] is a long-term commitment to sport”.

London 2012: MINIGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

BMW’s sponsorship of London 2012 ensured we were treated to the sight of remote-controlled ¼-scale MINIs busying themselves with the collection of javelins, hammers, shots and discuses. The so-called ‘Mini MINIS’ stole the show and created a real buzz on social media.

London 2012: VolvoGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Volvo wasn’t an official automotive sponsor at London 2012, but its sponsorship of the Team Volvo sailing team ensured it received its fair share of exposure. And it didn’t spend £50m for the privilege.

International Olympic Committee: AudiGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

In 2013, Audi became the official vehicle supplier for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As part of the agreement, which expires at the end of 2016, Audi has supplied more than 40 vehicles to the IOC headquarters and Olympic Museum in Lausanne. We could say it’s the most famous four rings supporting the most famous five. But we won’t.

Beijing 2008: VolkswagenGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Volkswagen didn’t do Beijing 2008 by half. As a main sponsor, Volkswagen supplied about 6,000 vehicles, including 4,350 VWs, 650 Skodas and 1,000 Audis. Fast forward eight years and although Volkswagen isn’t involved with Rio 2016, golf is. It’s the first time golf has been played at an Olympic Games since 1904.

Athens 2004: HyundaiGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Meet Phevos and Athena: the official mascots of Athens 2004, symbolising the link between Ancient Greece and the modern Olympic Games. They’re flanking Tucson: the ancient Greek god of five-year warranties. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Getz was the official car of Athens 2004.

Sydney 2000: HoldenGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Holden launched a range of Olympic Edition vehicles to mark its role as official vehicle supplier at Sydney 2000. A suitably Australian car was used to carry the Olympic torch for the Australian leg of the torch relay: a Holden VT Commodore. Strewth, mate.

Atlanta 1996: Buick Regal Olympic EditionGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Team USA dominated their home games at Atlanta 1996, topping the medal table with 44 gold, 32 silver and 25 bronze. The motivating factor was the thought of the Buick Regal Olympic Edition, with the obligatory gold accents on the wheels and trim, along with USA badges. What you can’t see are the USA badge and Olympic rings on the head restraints.

Atlanta 1996: Buick Skylark Olympic EditionGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

In fairness, the third generation Buick Regal has aged rather well, making the final model year Olympic Edition quite a desirable thing. Its sibling, the Skylark Olympic Edition, hasn’t aged quite so gracefully. Sadly, despite appearances, the flags weren’t attached to the car. That would have been quite a look, if a little tricky to manoeuvre at the drive-through.

Barcelona 1992: SEATGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

The SEAT Ibiza was the official car of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. This was the Games at which a Unified Team – consisting of 12 former Soviet republics – topped the medal table. Great Britain’s Linford Christie took gold in the 100m, despite SEAT’s best efforts to obstruct him by placing a Toledo (pictured) on the track.

Barcelona 1992: Steve BackleyGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

The thought of a SEAT Toledo waiting for him back home wasn’t enough motivation for Steve Backley to take gold in the Javelin. That said, he did manage to grab a bronze medal. We’re not sure that javelin will fit in the boot, Steve.

Seoul 1988: Hyundai Stellar Gold MedalGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

This is the Hyundai Stellar Gold Medal special edition – a car launched to mark the Hyundai Stellar’s role as the official car of the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. The Stellar is a rare best in the UK, with reportedly fewer than 10 left on the road.

Los Angeles 1984: Buick Century OlympiaGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

“Few of us can be Olympians, but some of us can own the car that captures the winning spirit of America’s contenders – the special edition 1984 Buick Century Olympia”. With ad copy like that, how could anyone resist the temptation of a “gleaming white” Buick? Gold accents, Olympic logos on the head restraints and the ability to stand out in suburbia came as standard.

Photo shows a non-Olympic Buick Century.

Moscow 1980: RAF-2907Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Riga Autobus Factory (RAF) built vans and minibuses for Soviet state enterprises. This is a RAF-2907, a minibus based on the RAF-2203 and used throughout the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games. Approximately 300 were built, including one specially modified to carry the Olympic Flame.

Montreal 1976: Chevrolet C10 Olympic EditionGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Montreal probably wishes it never hosted the 1976 Olympic Games, as it left the city with crippling debt, a construction nightmare and a string of corruption charges. The event itself was overshadowed by 22 African nations boycotting the Games. The Chevrolet C10 Olympic Edition was a little less controversial.

Munich 1972: BMW 1602eGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

BMW launched the 1602e to coincide with the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. It was used as a camera car and to transport members of the Olympic organising committee.

Munich 1972: BMW 1602eGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

By BMW’s own admission, its 350kg 12v lead-acid battery and range of approximately 35 miles meant that the 1602e was not designed for series production. But it hinted at a cleaner future.

Mexico 1968: Datsun Bluebird 1300Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

The Datsun Bluebird 1300 was the official vehicle for the Japanese team at the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games. This example was autographed by the entire team on the last day. Good luck getting your local bodyshop to respray a damaged front wing.

Tokyo 1964: Nissan Cedric SpecialGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

This rather intimidating car was Japan’s first domestic large vehicle and could easily pass as something driven by a Bond villain. It’s a 1964 Nissan Cedric Special – the car given the responsibility of carrying the Olympic torch at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games.

Rome 1960: Fiat Multipla 600Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

So very Italian! The Fiat Multipla 600 made its debut in 1960 when Fiat supplied a fleet of cars to athletes and officials at the Rome 1960 Olympic Games. If that isn’t Italian enough, Fiat also supplied a fleet of 500s and Lambrettas.

That’s the Summer Games covered, next we wrap up warm to tackle the Winter Games.

Sochi 2014: Volkswagen GroupGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Moving on to the Winter Games, the Volkswagen Group supplied 3,100 fleet vehicles to the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee. The highlight was the beefed-up Volkswagen Amarok, built to take nine people on the longest off-road journey through a single country. The Amarok Polar Editions secured a Guinness World Record for the gruelling 9,942-mile trek.

Vancouver 2010: General MotorsGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

General Motors supplied 4,600 Olympic-branded vehicles for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, the vast majority of which were sold off after the event’s conclusion. According to GM, the vehicles were “possibly the best Olympic souvenir of all”, although we’d prefer a gold medal.

Turin 2006: Fiat SediciGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

The Fiat Sedici was the official car of the Turin 2006 Winter Games – an event that coincided with the launch of the 4×4. The car was co-developed by Fiat and Suzuki, with the design handled by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Sedici is Italian for Sixteen: 4×4=16. Geddit?

Turin 2006: Italdesign StructuraGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

The Structura was built to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Italdesign Giugiaro, but was also the official car for Turin’s bid for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. The Structura’s doors were side-hinged, without any central pillar, while the car also featured a flat floor. Most sensational of all was the 5.6-litre W12 engine, which, metaphorically speaking, added 420hp to Turin’s bid.

Salt Lake City 2002: Chevrolet AvalancheGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

GM supplied a Chevrolet Avalanche to transport the Olympic flame during the torch relay prior to the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The relay covered 13,500 miles and passed through 46 states on its way to the Olympic Stadium.

Albertville 1992: RenaultGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

In 1992, Renault lent 1,500 cars to the Olympic Organisation Committee as part of the company’s sponsorship of the Albertville 1992 Olympic Winter Games. The cars were suitably white.

Albertville 1992: RenaultGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

To mark the occasion, Renault launched a range of limited edition Olympic 92 cars, including a Clio, 21, Espace, 25, 19 and A610. Note the Jeep Cherokee Olympic 92 – Renault didn’t have a 4×4 of its own.

Calgary 1988: General MotorsGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Here’s GM once again, this time supplying cars for the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Under the banner of ‘Join Us’, General Motors delivered a range of limited vehicles.

Sarajevo 1984: Citroen and MitsubishiGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Mitsubishi was the official car supplier at the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympic Games, with the likes of the Galant, Pajero and Space Wagon used to transport athletes and officials. Cimos supplied the official emergency vehicles, which were based on the Citroen CX Ambulance (pictured).

Lake Placid 1980: Ford and Subaru (US team)Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

The Lake Placid Olympic Organising Committee was given a fleet of 130 Ford vehicles, while the United States skiing team rolled around in four-wheel-drive Subarus.

Innsbruck 1976: Denzel and Mercedes-BenzGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Wolfgang Denzel, a former racing driver, was also the owner and creator of Denzel – an Austrian car company. At the Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympic Games, Wolfgang Denzel AG supplied 210 BMW, Volvo and DAF cars, while Mercedes-Benz supplied the official fleet of buses and taxis.

Grenoble 1968: RenaultGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Renault supplied a huge amount of cars for its home Games at Grenoble in 1968. In addition to the Renault 4 (pictured), the French giant laid on Renault 16 hatchbacks and Estafette vans.

Squaw Valley 1960: Renault DauphineGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

“Why was La Renault Dauphine chosen as the official car of the Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley? Because La Dauphine is the best car for winter driving! Terrific traction on snow and ice, quick starting in the cold, toasty warm dual-outlet heater”. If that sounds suspiciously like an advertisement, it’s because it is. At the time, the Dauphine was the only small-cylinder car to win the Monte Carlo rally.

Melbourne 1956: FiatGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Here’s Fiat once again, this time way back in 1956 at the Winter Olympic Games in Melbourne. The Italian firm was named as the official car supplier of the Games.

Rover 45 Olympic ImpressionGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Of course, not all Olympic cars are ‘official cars’ of the actual Games. Take the Rover 25 and 45 Olympic Impression, for example. The cars featured ‘Team GB’ and ‘Impression’ livery, with early customers qualifying for a free ‘Active bag’, whatever that is.

Rover Streetwise OlympicGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Another patriotic homegrown car, this time in the form of the Rover Streetwise Olympic SE. The car was launched in 2004, with each one finished in light blue and riding on 17-inch alloy wheels.

Buick Regal Olympic EditionGold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

And here’s yet another Buick Olympic special, this time in the form of the Regal Olympic Edition. Built to commemorate Buick’s support for Team USA at the 2004 Sydney Olympic Games, the Regal joined other Olympic specials, such as the 1984 Century Olympia, 1988 LeSabre Olympia and 1989 Olympic Regal.

Nissan March Rio 2016Gold metal: the cars of the Olympic Games

Bringing us right up to date is the Nissan March Rio 2016. Limited to 1,000 models, the March (Micra) features details in ‘Hot Orange’ – a colour that “represents the fun, heat, energy and boldness exhibited by Olympic athletes”. At least that’s what it says here.

Nissan gold LEAF Sir Chris Hoy

Nissan Olympic stars can win a gold Leaf

Nissan gold LEAF Sir Chris HoyNissan is offering each of its Olympic ambassadors the opportunity to win a gold-wrapped Leaf EV. All they have to do is… win a gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

The prize athletics competition has been launched by Sir Chris Hoy, himself a Nissan ambassador who knows a thing or two about winning Olympic golds: he has six of them (plus a silver).

Speaking at the launch of the competition at the Lee Valley Velopark (where he himself won a few of his own golds), Sir Chris said “it would be fantastic to hand over one of these special gold Nissan Leafs on their return”.

Nissan gold LEAF Sir Chris Hoy

Nissan’s athletes include heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, gymnast Max Whitlock, David Weir CBE and Richard Whitehead MBE: “Nissan is fully behind all of the GB athletes heading to Rio,” said Nissan GB marketing director Chris Marsh, “but will of course be keeping a close eye out for those we have individually supported over the course of the Games’ cycle on their road to Rio 2016.”

To remind everyone of the prize its athletes are in the running for, Nissan will be displaying a gold Leaf at the Nissan Innovation Station at The O2 in London throughout the whole Games period.

There’s just one line in the small print Nissan’s Olympians need to be aware of though: it’s only one Nissan LEAF per Nissan gold medal winner, regardless of how many gold medals they actually win.

Sir Chris himself, of course, won a total of thee gold medals at the 2008 Olympics alone. Maybe Nissan is mindful of this…

Nissan athletes who could win a gold Nissan Leaf

Team GB

  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson – Heptathlon
  • Liam Phillips – BMX Racing
  • Max Whitlock – Gymnastics
  • Becky James – Track cycling
  • Kat Copeland MBE – Rowing
  • Lynsey Sharp – 800m
  • George Nash – Rowing
  • Laura Weightman – 1500m
  • Eilish McColgan – 5000m
  • Ciara Horne – Cycling

ParalympicsGB

  • Richard Whitehead MBE– Athletics (T42)
  • David Weir CBE – Wheelchair Racing (T54)
  • David Stone – Cycling (T1-2)
  • Amy Marren – Swimming (S9)
  • Matt Wylie – Swimming (S9)
  • Melissa Reid – Para-Triathlon (pt5)
Spanish man buys Nissan X-Trail on Twitter

Spanish man buys Nissan X-Trail on Twitter

Spanish man buys Nissan X-Trail on Twitter

A car buyer in Spain is thought to have become the first person to complete a car purchase using social media – without seeing the car or visiting a dealership before collection day.

Raul Escolano, also known as Twitter user @escolano, courted a number of car companies through the social media platform using the hashtag #compraruncocheportwitter (in English, ‘buy a car on Twitter’).

Nissan dealer Antamotor in A Coruña approached Escolano via Twitter, and used live video platform Periscope to give him a personalised walk-through of the X-Trail.

The man then asked his Twitter followers which car he should buy, with 43% of respondents voting for the X-Trail in the Twitter poll. He stuck with the results, and bought the X-Trail online.

The transaction was completed by a courier delivering the keys to his new X-Trail to Escolano’s door, before he visited the manufacturer’s Spanish headquarters to collect the car. This was the first face-to-face interaction Nissan had with the customer since he first expressed an interest two months earlier.

Nissan Navara: Two-Minute Road Test

Nissan Navara: Two-Minute Road Test

Nissan Navara: Two-Minute Road Test

This is the latest Nissan Navara – or Nissan NP300 Navara to give it its full name. It’s the latest in a flurry of new pickups, designed to appeal as a family runaround without losing any of its credibility as a serious workhorse.

What are its rivals?

Rivals are aplenty: there’s the recently-replaced Mitsubishi L200, its Italian brethren the Fiat Fullback, Toyota’s iconic Hilux, Ford’s affordable Ranger and the soon-to-come, Navara-based, Renault Alaskan.

What’s it like to drive?

What's it like to drive?

If you’re more used to SUVs than proper trucks, you might find the Navara disappointing. Even with interior features that aren’t that far off the Qashqai, there’s no escaping the fact that this is a commercial vehicle.

The 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine is noisy, the automatic gearbox in our test car is a little clumsy and parking it would be nigh-on impossible without the wonderful Around View Monitor.

But that’s compared to SUVs. The ride, although a bit wobbly when unladen if you’re expecting it to be car like – is virtually a revelation compared to pickups of old, thanks to the five-link coil-sprung suspension fitted as standard to the double cab model.

Compared to trucks of the past, you could drive the new Navara every day without it feeling too much of a compromise. It’s quiet at motorway speeds, and visibility around town makes negotiating traffic easier than you might expect.

Fuel economy and running costs

Fuel economy and running costs

We tested the more powerful 190hp diesel. Key stats are a combined 40.3mpg and 183g/km CO2. That’s from a commercial vehicle. Not bad, eh?

Is it practical?

Hell yeah. Or should we say, truck yeah? Boasting a 1,578mm load bed, the double cab’s load area is longer than that of the Mitsubishi L200 and offers plenty of room for lugging building supplies, lifestyle accessories or whatever you might wish to chuck in it.

What about safety?

What about safety?

The latest Nissan Navara scored four stars when it was tested by Euro NCAP last year. It was let down by its lack of technology such as a lane departure warning, and pedestrian-friendly active bonnet. Not a huge concern, really.

Which version should I go for?

It depends what you want. While the top-spec Tekna we had on test was lovely, and would be ideal for those looking to use the Navara as a family car, you might find it hard to stomach spending more than £30,000 on something as workhorse-like as this. For those wanting the practical abilities of the Navara more than luxuries such as heated leather seats, the entry or mid-range models might make more sense.

Should I buy one?

Should I buy one?

If you’re prepared to accept the compromises offered by a pickup, the Navara is certainly one of the best in its class.

Pub fact

World rally champion Colin McRae drove a Nissan Navara in the Dakar Rally Raid in 2004 and 2005 – crashing out in his second year. The firm launched a special edition Navara Rally Raid in 2004, limited to just 300 units.

Nissan Sunderland

Furious Nissan taking legal action against Vote Leave in Brexit row

Nissan SunderlandNissan is seeking an injunction in the High Court against the EU Vote Leave campaign following persistent use of the firm’s name and logo without permission.

The official European Referendum ‘Brexit’ campaign has, says Nissan, used the firm’s name and logo in its literature and on its website – even after Nissan’s “repeated requests for them to stop.

Brexit Remain vote ‘critical’ warns UK automotive industry

“Permission to use our name and logo was not requested. If it was, it would not have been granted.” Nissan says Vote Leave’s use of its brand symbol “grossly misrepresents our widely circulated and publically stated position”.

Nissan has thus issued legal proceedings in the High Court, “asking for an injunction to stop Vote Leave’s use of Nissan’s name and logo, and to prevent them from making any further false statements and misrepresentations concerning Nissan”.

Rather than taking sides in the Brexit referendum, Nissan is not supporting any political campaign, deeming it “a matter for the people of the UK to decide”.

It did, however, say in February that it would prefer Britain remained in the EU: “For us, a position of stability is more favourable than a collection of unknowns,” said Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

8 in 10 Nissans built in the UK are exported, with most of them going to other European markets.

Man takes his car for a service – and they clean it with WEE

Taking the pee: man gets a shock when his electric car is serviced

Man takes his car for a service – and they clean it with WEE

The owner of an electric Nissan Leaf got a surprise extra with his recent service – when a technician appeared to urinate in a bucket of soapy water, and clean his car with it.

The man, whose identity isn’t known but posts videos on Youtube of life with an electric car under the name of ‘Electric Leaf Man’, described the incident as a ‘p**s take’.

He discovered the disgusting act when watching back dashcam footage recorded while his Leaf was at his Nissan dealer having a service.

He said: “I thought I’d have a look at the dashcam to see what happens when you take the car in for a service and what they actually do for the near £100 cost on a car with almost no serviceable parts.

“Although the service the car got was fine, I did see something which I didn’t expect and has caused me to wipe the entire interior down again.”

The video showed a member of staff at the dealership giving the car a complimentary clean using a bucket of soapy water – but only after he is clearly seen urinating in the bucket in front of the car.

The same member of staff then gave the inside of the car a wipe down.

Electric Leaf Man added that he’d yet to show the footage to the dealer – but decided he’d ‘take the p**s’ himself first.

Warning: video contains strong language.

Nissan threatens legal action over Vote Leave copyright abuse

Nissan threatens legal action over Vote Leave copyright abuse

Nissan threatens legal action over Vote Leave copyright abuse

Nissan has joined fellow Japanese car manufacturer Toyota in threatening to take legal action against the Vote Leave campaign, after it emerged its logo had been used in anti-EU campaign material.

A spokesman reportedly told the Financial Times: “We are extremely disappointed to have discovered that the Vote Leave campaign has been using the Nissan name and logo in their literature and on their website without our permission.

“We vigorously protect the Nissan brand and intellectual property in all markets in which we operate. We have requested that any further use of our intellectual property rights be discontinued – a request that has so far been denied. As such we are considering the appropriate action to be taken.”

In a statement released on its website yesterday, Toyota said: “It has come to our attention that the Vote Leave official election communication contains Toyota’s logos and trademarks and could mislead the reader into thinking that Toyota endorses the Vote Leave campaign.

“We offer no such endorsement and further we are considering a formal legal complaint at this unauthorised use of our trademarks, which infringes our rights as the owners of the Toyota brand.”

Like Toyota, Nissan builds a large number of cars in the UK – including more than 500,000 a year at its Sunderland plant. Around 8,000 workers are employed by Nissan in the North East, so any breakdown in trade agreements could lead to an employment crisis if the firm pulled out of UK car production.

The Nissan spokesman added: “To be clear, we are not supporting any political campaign regarding this most serious of issues. This is a matter for the people of the UK to decide.”

Previously, Vauxhall boss Rory Harvey has the firm ‘absolutely’ has a position on Brexit – and that position is that the UK should remain in the EU.

Car buyers say connectivity is more important than fuel consumption

Car buyers say connectivity is more important than fuel consumption

Car buyers say connectivity is more important than fuel consumption

How important is it that your car seamlessly connects to your phone? Crucial, says Nissan – as 28% of new car buyers puts it above factors such as fuel efficiency.

Surprisingly, 20% of those surveyed revealed they’d switch to another car brand for better connectivity – and that rises to 41% for drivers who spend more than 20 hours a week in their car.

Nissan says it’s investing heavily in making sure no one walks out of one of its showrooms just because their mobile phone doesn’t connect easily with the car.

Leading its European team, based at Cranfield in Bedfordshire, is Patrick Keenan – known as ‘the man with 40 phones’.

Keenan makes hundreds of calls a day using the dozens of phones which fill his office drawers, all in a bid to keep Nissan’s in-car connectivity tech a step ahead from the competition.

He said: “Today’s new cars have a lifecycle of five or six years before a new version is launched, but a mobile phone will only be on the market for less than two years before it’s replaced. Keeping cars and phones talking to each other is the crux of my job.

“My job is to make sure anyone who walks into a Nissan showroom anywhere in Europe doesn’t walk out again because a car they want to buy won’t pair with their phone.”

Nissan is keen to become a leader of connected and autonomous cars, with its ProPilot 1.0 technology (single-lane autonomous highway driving) set to debut on the Nissan Qashqai next year.

Nissan GT-R

2017 Nissan GT-R track-test review: Godzilla bites back

Nissan GT-REau Rouge, Raidillon, Les Combes, La Source… The list of Spa-Francorchamps’ corners reads like a motorsport greatest hits. Nestled among the lush green hills of the Ardennes, Spa is widely regarded as one of the best circuits in the world. Legends have been born here, and lives have been lost here. Today, I’ll be driving it flat-out in the new Nissan GT-R.

If the car in these photos doesn’t look entirely ‘new’, that’s because it isn’t. The current (R35) GT-R was launched way back in 2007, but – like smartphone technology or the common cold – it has evolved constantly, with annual updates to keep it competitive.

This 2017 version, known as the ‘MY17’ by GT-R geeks, is the most comprehensive update in the car’s history. And frankly, with rivals like the Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911 Turbo, it needs to be.

We can pore over spec details later, though. Right now, the electronic gates have swung open and, with sweaty palms and 570hp under my right foot, I’m about to unleash the GT-R on an empty racetrack…

Nissan GT-RA relaxing Spa break? Not exactly

Entering the circuit at La Source, I dive downhill and straight into Spa’s most famous corner: Eau Rouge. This tight left-right-left kink bottoms out and then climbs sharply, making the front end of the car go light as I surge forward into the Kemmel Straight.

Along here, the GT-R accelerates relentlessly, its twin-turbo V6 blasting us beyond 150mph before you can say “Les Combes”. Braking hard, you can really feel the car’s 1,752kg weight, but it tracks straight and feels stable. Thank mammoth cast-iron discs (there’s no carbon-ceramic option) and Brembo six-pot calipers.

Turning in, the car feels planted and precise, but I overcook this tricky series of three bends at the first attempt and it bumps uncomfortably over the rumble strips. The rear-biased four-wheel-drive catapults us away again without even a chirrup of wheelspin, but it’s clear the GT-R isn’t averse to understeer (running wide) if you push too hard in slower corners.

As I’ll discover, taking faster bends too quickly has the opposite effect…

Nissan GT-RHolding on for a hero

As Spa’s rollercoaster ribbon of asphalt plunges downwards, I enter the more open corners at Pouhon and Blanchimont. The GT-R is so fast, and throttle response so instant, that it’s easy to carry far too much speed here. And being a reckless amateur, that’s exactly what I do.

As your velocity increases, so the Nissan’s cornering attitude shifts from understeer to tail-twitching oversteer. Being a higher, heavier car than many of its rivals means this transition happens more slowly and predictably. Nonetheless, the slight wriggle from the rear end as we approach Blanchimont at over 100mph is enough to make me wish I’d packed my brave pants.

Of course, even a car with as much traction and grip as the GT-R can be provoked into going sideways if you so wish. But we didn’t come to Spa for showboating. As as racing driver will tell you, smoothness is the key to speed. Well, that and the small matter of 570hp.

Nissan GT-R‘The ultimate performance super-sports car’

Yes, ‘the ultimate performance super-sports car’ is the modest claim Nissan makes for the GT-R. But you know what, they might just have a point.

With 570 hp from its 3.8-litre V6 up 20hp on the MY16 car the GT-R will explode to 62mph in “about 2.7 seconds” (it hasn’t been officially timed yet, apparently) and keep going to 196mph. The standard car last set an official Nurburgring lap time in 2013, a 7min 18sec result making it one of the fastest production cars ever. Unless you enter the rarified world of six-figure supercars, there’s little to match it.

That said, the GT-R isn’t the bargain at once was. When first launched, it was barely more expensive than a BMW M3. But prices have crept up over the past decade, with the cheapest version now starting at £79,995. The ‘engineered by Nismo’ Track Edition will be £91,995, and the forthcoming full-fat GT-R Nismo is likely to be north of £100k.

For that kind of money, Nissan’s flagship needs to offer premium-feel as well as performance. That’s why the biggest changes are inside the car.

Nissan GT-RMore premium, less Playstation

When the R35 was born, Tony Blair was still prime minister and nobody knew what a ‘credit crunch’ was. At the time, its tech-heavy cabin including a media system designed by Polyphony, makers of the Gran Turismo games – was futuristic and impressive.

However all those buttons look dated in the iPad era, so Nissan has fitted a new eight-inch touchscreen that de-clutters the dashboard (a bit). There’s also a rotary controller on the centre console, so you can keep your eyes on the road – rather than on your G-force meter, gearbox oil temperature gauge or real-time braking pressure graph. Yes, this is still a car to delight data nerds.

Whether its upgraded cabin will delight the rest of us is debatable. Nissan has swathed the dashboard in hand-stitched leather and fitted plusher, more comfortable seats (electric Recaros are a £2,000 option). Yet there’s still an awful lot of hard plastic, plus a random scattering of switchgear that will be familiar to anyone who’s driven a Note or Qashqai.  

On the plus side, the GT-R remains quite practical. Its two rear seats are fine for kids – albeit hopelessly cramped for adults – and its deep boot is big enough for a week away.

Nissan GT-RIron fist in a boxing glove

The changes on the outside of the car are less obvious. Only dedicated GT-R spotters – and plenty of such folk exist – are likely to notice the V-shaped front grille and new front bumper with LED daytime running lights.

At the rear, the Ferrari-aping round taillights are still the car’s most distinctive feature, although a closer look reveals a new silver-finished diffuser, plus side air vents next to the titanium-tipped exhaust pipes. You wouldn’t call the GT-R beautiful, but it’s brawny and utterly purposeful.

As we leave Spa through the local town of Francorchamps, it’s time for the acid test. A group of school children is being marched along the pavement by a flustered-looking teacher. The boys at the head of the queue stop suddenly as they point and stare at our rumbling, growling GT-R. The teacher shouts and gesticulates. Our work here is done.

Nissan GT-RGran Turismo for the road

It’s ironic the GT-R found fame through the Gran Turismo racing game, because it’s brilliantly capable GT. And we mean that in the old-fashioned sense: a car that could whisk you to the south of France without breaking sweat.

If anything, the uber-Nissan is even more impressive on the road than on the track. Through the tight turns of Spa, it feels heavier and less agile than some similarly-powerful sports cars. Yet on the road, it’s crushingly competent, with acceleration, braking and cornering abilities so far beyond what you can safely – or legally – achieve that you never want for more.

Unlike many rivals, the GT-R is also very easy to drive. You don’t have to clamber in and out, the seating position is upright, ride comfort is better than you might expect and the control weights won’t scare somebody more used to a Micra. With the six-speed dual-clutch gearbox in auto mode, its a refined and relaxing way to travel. The sheer size of the car is the only potential stumbling-block.

Nissan GT-RGodzilla still has teeth

One comment you’ll occasionally hear about the GT-R is that it lacks character, or that it doesn’t have the soul of a sports car.

I don’t buy that, though. The car the Japanese call ‘Godzilla’ may not be as fast as a Ferrari, or as head-turning as a Lamborghini. Its interior may still look a bit downmarket and its V6 doesn’t sound special enough. But Nissan’s fast and furious flagship has a depth of ability that trancends virtually anything else on sale – especially if you’re just an ‘average’ driver like me.

It takes time to fully appreciate the GT-R’s talents (a track session at Spa helps, admittedly) but it will confound expectations and, ultimately, get under your skin. As I handed the – cheap, plasticky – key back at Dusseldorf airport, all I wanted to do was carry on driving. And what better testimonial is there for ‘the ultimate performance super-sports car’ than that?

Nissan GT-R2017 Nissan GT-R: Early verdict

For:

Gobsmackingly quick

Formidable traction and grip

Practical for a supercar

Cheaper than its rivals

Against:

Interior not worthy of an £80k car

Engine doesn’t sound special enough

2017 Nissan GT-R: Specification

Price: £79,995

Engine: 3.8-litre V6 twin turbo

Gearbox: six-speed semi-automatic

Power: 570hp

Torque: 470lb ft

0-62mph: 2.7 seconds (est.)

Top speed: 196mph

Fuel economy: 23.9mpg

CO2 emissions: 275g/km