At Age 101, This Driver Made The Switch To A Nissan LEAF


John Walsh, 101 year-old resident of Clonmel, Ireland, is doing his part to help the environment. He has never purchased a new car, and now, he has chosen a Nissan LEAF to be his first. Back in 1953, Walsh purchased a used Volkswagen, and after that, he drove company cars throughout his life. He said:

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

“I would never have dreamt of buying a car at this stage. My motivation was to do something to improve the environment and to conserve the supply of fossil fuels. The banks are paying no interest, so I decided to spend my money on an EV to do my own little bit to protect the environment.”

Back when Walsh was 15 or 16, he learned to drive in a Ford Model T. That was more than 80 years ago. He said that his father had a few of the old Fords and allowed him to drive them around the lot of the company he managed.

Walsh has a list of places he’d like to visit in his LEAF. However, he mostly intends to use the car to drive into town and to visit people. He explained that he is also sharing the vehicle with his son. Walsh continued:

“I am convinced that we have to do something about global warming and pollution. I am a late convert to environmental protection and a bit of a late starter driving an electric car but this is my way of playing my part. My son also enjoys driving the car on longer distances, but I have priority on it.”

Walsh can remember fuel shortages during World War II. He had to take up biking due to the fall of public and private transportation. He worked in Dublin as chief accountant with Bulmers until his retirement in 1981. Walsh said he would bike all the way from Dublin to Limerick (125 miles) to see and date his future wife. Today, this is over a two hour train ride.

Walsh turned 101 a few weeks ago. Nissan told him that if he could have driven an electric car for his entire driving career, he would be €120,000 ($134,000) richer. Walsh may be the “unofficial” first person to be able to compare the Ford Model T to the Nissan LEAF. Surely there are a few others that may have experienced driving a Model T and have since been in an electric vehicle, but it’s safe to bet that Walsh is the only 101 year-old LEAF owner.

Source: The Irish Times

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30 Comments on "At Age 101, This Driver Made The Switch To A Nissan LEAF"

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He looks pretty good for 101.

Oh yeah

Awesome to see a 100+ year old guy adopt new technology!

Then again, he may have rode around in an EV back when they existed in the 1910s!

Yep, I’d like to own an EV before I die.

I wonder how banks feel about loaning money to somebody who is that old. I mean, realistically speaking they aren’t likely to be around by the end of the loan.

I met the man at a rapid charger recently.

He paid cash.

Is he a widow looking for ladies?

Is your question a rethorical one? He said in the article that he had spent his savings as he hadn’t been paid any interest on these by banks. He did not take any loan thus.

Pretty sure he said in the article ‘the banks are paying no interest’. As in they’re not interested. Not interest rate.

His cash was sitting in a bank earning him very little interest, so he withdrew it to buy the Nissan Leaf…

David, please show some respect to Mr John Walsh who is 101 years old.
This is a great story.

He paid cash out of his savings.

Even if he took a loan, if the vehicle was used as collateral, why wouldn’t they loan money?

I guess he means the banks are paying no interest on his bank deposit and thats why he prefers to spent his money.

Sorry to say this, maybe he shouldn’t be driving at his age anymore, regardless of the type of car he drives…

But I am glad that he is driving an EV.

He seems in better shape than many younger people for sake.
Age is an inevitable process of decreasing capacity, but some achieve aging much faster.
So age shouldn’t be the sole factor but the required aptitude should.
I believe many younger driver don’t have the requirement for driving.

Let us derate it by 20 years… It is still equivalent to a 81 years which is still on the border.

Reaction time is slower, cognitive speed is slower. Hearing and Sights are worse. Those all impact driving capabilities.

Yes, a careful 101 years old can be still better than a terrible 18 year old. But that isn’t the point. Both shouldn’t be driving.

Dude, if he’s still cognitive and has decent reactions, he’s fine to drive. By all means older people should be re-assessed much more frequently, but to say they shouldn’t be driving “based on age alone” is really incredibly dumb. I mean there are plenty of 18 year olds who are extremely sensible driivers, and plenty of older folk who still have nifty reaction times and an active brain.

Whether or not someone should be allowed to drive should be assessed on their capabilities, not pre-determined by their age alone; that’s unfair on those who are capable. Obviously, a minimum age before one can drive must still apply. I’m referring more to the upper limit.

And 18 is perfectly young enough to learn to drive. If we raised that limit the damage to the economy would be far greater.

So yeah don’t tell us who ‘shouldn’t be driving. If they can still see well enough to pass the number plate test, their eyesight is still good enough. If they can still emergency stop in time, their reactions are still good enough. These things are all assessed in re-examination, so the examiner will be able to determine if the older person should still be allowed to drive.

The EXAM determines it. Not ‘oh they are 90, so automatically they shouldn’t be driving.’ It’s things like this that make society fairer.

“The EXAM determines it. Not ‘oh they are 90, so automatically they shouldn’t be driving.’ It’s things like this that make society fairer.”

Sure, do we have exams to test those abilities?

No. Why? Because it would be considered as age discrimination..

I fully support yearly renewal with driving testing required for anyone who is older than 85. But I know there won’t be any support for that.

I’m good with yearly renewal and I would add, 10 years, 20 years automatic recaps after the initial exam, and probably more to all who think they own their permit to the end of time.
That alone would save more life than pseudo auto pilot.
Distraction, fatigue, drug, phone, texting and loud music are much worse than a somewhat slower reaction time.
Probably half of legit driving license owner would probably fail an impromptu testing.
So many weird driving on our road today, it’s scary.
Believe me they are mostly done by much younger people.

Yes recent checking of driver skills would be a good thing.

I support 10 year intervalls for everyone, going down to 5 year intervalls from 60 years, going down to 2 year intervalls from 86 years old.

Here in Ireland after the age of 70 you must undergo a regular medical either every 3 years or every year to determine if you are fit to drive and the medical report is required to renew your license.

The determination of whether the renewal is for three years or one is dependant on the results of the medical report. Due to his advanced age it’s almost certain that Mr. Walsh is undergoing an annual medical to maintain his license.

I venture to say, if he was biking 125 mi at one point to see his future wife, he’s in great shape. Also, how or why would you judge an individual you don’t know merely by his age? Did it ever occur to you he is equally of sound mind and ability? It appears he makes very good judgement calls as well.

I’d gladly drink a beer with that guy!

But the tests today do not take the dangerous drivers off the road in a timely fashion. My 90 yr old father-in-law was barely meeting the minimum eyesight. We “knew” he couldn’t see things in his periphery (like children playing on the sidewalk) and that his hearing was really really bad. We wanted to take the keys away for everyone’s safety, but legally he was fit to drive, so we hesitated. Luckily, a deciding event happened that didn’t injure anyone, but caused a fender bender at an intersection. He went to the bank at 9am and got confused on the way out. He drove around for 6 hrs trying to find his way home. He followed a car through a very very stale yellow light (red for him) lefthand turn and sideswiped the car going through the intersection. He had no idea what happened and later couldn’t even tell us what intersection it happened at. He was certain the other guy was at fault. As the car had damage and we told him he couldn’t drive it until the court hearing and until we repaired it, we had time to plot our strategy. That involved getting his heart doctor to… Read more »

Yes Great Shape for a 101 year old and I bet he is a good and careful driver and enjoying his Nissan Leaf.

Good on you John Walsh 🙂 10/10
You are setting the Example and enjoying a great drive!

I purchased A Leaf in April this year 2014 model I love this car. I do 40 km
A day charge it once in 3 days . So easy in the nights I put to charge . So no haste. I am going in for solar charging next month so that my electricity bill will be 0 . Unfortunately there is no dealership in Srilanka as Nissan agents do not handle leaf .

This story brings a smile to my face.
I count myself among the few who have driven both a Ford Model T and a Nissan Leaf, as well. The Leaf is a far sight easier to manage, although both do some things a bit different about braking than the majority of motor vehicles.
Passing on the experience of an EV to younger family members is indeed abetting change.

Mr John Walsh
You are the real clean gentlemen. My sincere appreciation to you.
Please take your children, grandchildren & great grandchildren for a ride in your car and let them spread the word about electric cars. And every other person will buy it.