HebCelt festival pioneers role for electric cars

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The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival’s drive to further enhance its green credentials will see it play a pioneering role in the use of electric cars.

HebCelt, which will be held from 13-16 July in Stornoway in the island of Lewis, is to be the first Scottish festival to partner with E-Car Club to provide a fleet of vehicles discounted for music fans to use during its event.

E-Car, the UK’s first entirely electric pay-per-use car club, will have nine Renault ZOE hatchbacks and a Renault Kangoo van based at Car Hire Hebrides in Stornoway during the four-day festival.

The cars are capable of 70-90 miles on a charge and users will have free access to ten charging points in Lewis and Harris.

HebCelt Director Caroline Maclennan said: “We are naturally delighted to partner with E-Car Club. Their packages provide festival-goers with a really flexible range of offers and access to their fleet of electric cars.

“This will provide festival visitors the opportunity to take in as much as time permits of the wider natural beauty of the island in an environmentally responsible manner, which fits well with our aims to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.”

The system works on a membership basis and cars should be booked in advance.

Chris Morris, E-Car Managing Director and co-founder, said: “As one of the most progressive and sustainable music festivals there is, we’re absolutely delighted to be supporting HebCelt 2016.

“The ten electric, pay-as-you-go vehicles we have recently launched around Stornoway provide an excellent solution for low cost, convenient, environmentally-friendly transport, and we’re looking forward to demonstrating this forward-thinking model to festival-goers over the four days of HebCelt.”

Charging points in the Outer Hebrides are at the ferry terminals at Tarbert, Leverburgh, Lochmaddy, Eriskay and Castlebay; council offices at Stornoway and Balivanich; Lews Castle College and Shell Street Car Park in Stornoway and Lionel School in Ness.

Car Hire Hebrides, which operates the e-cars on the island, ( part of E-car Hebrides) is an annual sponsor of HebCelt.

This year’s HebCelt will be headlined by Runrig, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Hayseed Dixie. Other acts already confirmed include Julie Fowlis, Astrid, King Creosote, John McCusker and Breabach.

The festival is regarded as one of the greenest events in the world due to its efforts on recycling and protecting its environment.

It is committed to decreasing its carbon emissions by 14 per cent by 2017 and the Hebridean Celtic Festival Trust has drawn up a series of long-term aims on the sustainable use of resources, reducing emissions and raising awareness of environmental matters among volunteers, suppliers, contractors, artists and festival goers.

In 2013 HebCelt was hailed as one of the greenest festivals in the world after being the only Scottish event to receive an Outstanding award from environmental campaign group A Greener Festival. In addition, it was shortlisted in the Greener Festival category in the UK Festival Awards.

Pictured is one of the electric cars which will provide festival visitors the opportunity to take in the wider beauty of the islands.