UK funeral-home operator touts Leaf-based 'Eco-Hearse'

Leaf-based vehicle can go 85 miles on a charge while holding a casket.

When you go, you might as well go green, right? One UK funeral-home operator is giving prospective, uh, customers a way to take the environmentally sensitive way out. Literally.

Behold the Eco-Hearse. Developed by Leverton & Sons in partnership with Brahms Electric Vehicles, the hearse is based off of a Nissan Leaf platform and is said to be the first all-electric hearse in the UK. The customized car can go as far as 85 miles on a full charge. That means that, in addition to being lengthened to properly hold caskets, the car can make that last ride both quiet and environmentally friendly. Or at least friendlier.

Leverton & Sons, which operates a half-dozen locations in and around London and has been family-run since 1789, is offering more than just the customized Leaf to help make that last journey a green one. For caskets and coffins, Leverton & Sons offers an inventory of products ranging from wicker to recycled cardboard to recycled wood.

Granted, Leverton & Sons offers more traditional modes of transportation such as its Jaguar hearses, which should appeal to those "Harold & Maude" fans out there but aren't exactly light on petroleum usage. But the company also touts the many "natural burial parks" on the outskirts of London where people can be buried in mature forests and in a way that doesn't impact tree growth.

Brahms makes the electric hearses in Northamptonshire, about 75 miles northwest of London, and about 200 miles south of the Sunderland factory where Nissan makes its all-electric Leafs for the European market.

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