Darren Bramley loves his cost-effecient Nissan Leaf
Meet the Medway-to-London commuter who pays just £1 a day.
Darren Bramley, 44, says he is buzzing after he bought an electric car – and insists it beats his gas-guzzler hands-down.
Almost 50 extra public electric car charging points are set to be put up across Kent and Medway thanks to government funding.
The £300,000, awarded to the county by the Department for Transport earlier this month, will buy the equipment to charge an electric car from empty to full in less than three hours. The standard charging point time is eight hours.
Some fear the countywide project could prove a waste of money. Three chargers in Canterbury costing £15,000 were used just four times in a year.
But ITV cameraman Mr Bramley, who bought one of Medway's first full electric cars in March and since then has run up nearly 8,000 miles, called on the government to do even more.
"I used to spend £245 a month on petrol and now sail past petrol stations while smiling sweetly at the other drivers," he said.
Mr Bramley’s Nissan Leaf – models start at £16,000 – can go about 100 miles before its batteries run out, taking three to four hours to recharge.
It costs him just £1 to recharge in London or about 30p an hour on his front drive – enough battery life to get him to London and back, and much cheaper than petrol.
Electric car owners also do not pay road tax, the London congestion charge or some parking fees.
The cars are not common. The father-of-one has seen only two other people driving electric cars near his home in Drewery Drive, Wigmore. "We wave to each other," he added.
"Every time I plug it in people come up and ask me questions. We did it at Clacket Lane services on the M25 and, when we sat in Starbucks, the number of people walking round it scratching their heads was like a comedy show."
Commuter Darren Bramley charging his Nissan Leaf
Darren Bramley behind the wheel of his electric car
The charging point for the Nissan Leaf
Mr Bramley added: "The biggest problem is being 'iced'. It's when a normal petrol car parks in your space and you can't charge."
He added: "You've got to build an infrastructure to show people that it's sustainable.
"I've already suggested charging points at the Historic Dockyard and Chatham Dockside but all the places I went to said they weren't interested.
"Bizarrely, Bluewater has got no charging points – neither has Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre. Once I had to ask a guy who was washing cars if I could plug it into where he had his vacuum. He said 'no'!"