The units also carry out safety checks before any power is transferred. Dr Colin Herron, from One North East, said: "This is another example of how our region will help the rest of the UK to roll-out electric vehicle infrastructure.
"Most people believe that domestic charging is going to be the means by which most people charge their electric car but we won’t know for sure unless they are used in real-world trials."
Ian Black, production director at Sunderland’s Nissan plant, who is trying out one of the first Nissan LEAFs in Europe described it as "very convenient". He said: "It only takes five seconds to plug the electric car in at night and five to unplug it in the morning, fully charged and ready for the next day’s driving."