Electric cars spark further green interest

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Ten vehicles which are entirely electric -nine cars and one van - can be now be hired by residents and tourists on the Isle of Lewis.

The vehicles are all provided to the company E-Car Club by Renault. The scheme is the product of a unique partnership between the club and Pentland Road Wind Farm.

Much of the electricity used to power the new electric vehicles will come from the Pentland Road wind farm, with whose official inauguration the electric car scheme’s opening coincides.

The cars and van are for hire from Carhire Hebrides, who are based at Stornoway Airport. E-car Club members will be able to go online and book their vehicle, with other customers able to contact Carhire to book theirs.

Residents and tourists alike will be able hire one of the cars for £5.50 per hour or £45 per day. The van will is on hire for £7.50 per hour or £60 per day - power and insurance is included for both the cars and van.

People hiring the new electric cars may use the 12 connectors spread around seven charge points on the Isle of Lewis and Harris, according to figures from Zap Map UK.

Derek Murray, car hire supervisor at Carhire Hebrides, is overseeing their hosting of the electric vehicles.

“I’m really looking forward to this being a success”, says Derek, “it’s a great system that’s green and affordable and Carhire Hebrides is really proud to be a pioneer here.

“We’re always looking for ways to benefit Western Isles’ residents and tourists.”

Peter Crone, director of Pentland Road Wind Farm and Zero Carbon Marine, said: “After having driven one of the cars from the most southern to the most northern point of the Outer Hebrides earlier this week, I am certain that the vehicles will prove very popular.”

Alasdair Allan MSP said: “I am happy to see the Pentland Road wind turbines becoming a reality and creating a benefit to the community.

“I appreciate the great amount of effort that has gone into this project over many years to get to where we are today.

“I am looking forward to electric cars becoming more common around the Isles and to seeing the wider community benefits these two schemes should bring in.”

To celebrate the arrival of this pioneering scheme, representatives from E-Car and Zero Carbon Marine embarked on the ‘E-Car Challenge’ on Tuesday October 6, where they drove two cars from Vatersay South Beach to the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis in one day.

The challenge was set out to highlight the versatility of the vehicles and to demonstrate the existing ‘rapid charge’ units already in operation on the Western Isles, which can charge the vehicles from flat to full in as little as 30 minutes.

Chris Morris, managing director of E-Car Club added: “This is an extremely exciting project to be involved in and a significant milestone both for E-Car and e- mobility in Scotland as a whole.

“Our model is already market-leading from an environmental and behavioural impact perspective, but the opportunity to power the vehicles almost exclusively from wind turbines makes the sustainability credentials of this scheme truly world class.”

Our picture shows one of the cars which people can rent from Carhire at the airport and there is also a van that’s entirely electric too.