Sunday 20 August 2017

100-year-old John goes electric over global-warming fears

John Walsh is planning a 250km round trip to Limerick in his new Nissan LEAF Photo: John D Kelly
John Walsh is planning a 250km round trip to Limerick in his new Nissan LEAF Photo: John D Kelly
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

He's nearly 101 years old and has just bought his first new car - simply because it is electric.

Now centenarian John Walsh, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, has become something of a symbol for electric-car use here. John told the Irish Independent that he decided to buy a new Nissan LEAF as he is genuinely concerned over global warming.

A Ford Model T, like the one John's father owned
A Ford Model T, like the one John's father owned

He said: "It's all about sustainability now. What put it (the electric car) into my mind was a friend of my son in Kinsale who had been driving one. That 'informed' me about it.

"The banks are paying no interest, so I decided to spend my money on an EV (electric vehicle) to do my own little bit to protect the environment."

Mr Walsh uses the LEAF to get into town to shop twice a week and visit friends. But he is planning longer trips. He wants to make the 250-kilometre round trip to Foynes, Co Limerick, where he grew up and first sat behind the wheel of his father's car, a Ford Model T.

He likes the idea of being able to charge the LEAF, which costs from €21,490 (€120 road tax), at his home.

John has the cert from his GP which entitles him to his three-year driving licence and he can "read and drive comparatively well without glasses".

Nissan Ireland CEO James McCarthy says John is "living proof it is never too late to embrace change".

Irish Independent

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