Driving home the message electric cars work on Mull
TWO FREE events later this month on Mull will let islanders see how electric cars can help them escape the high cost of petrol and diesel.
Hosted in Tobermory and Craignure by the Energy Saving Trust on September 18 and 19, the events will give locals a chance to find out why Mull is the ideal place to own an electric car, including significantly lower running costs, ranges that comfortably cover the whole island, reduced pollution and the availability of 100 per cent funding to install home charge points.
Those attending will then be able to get behind the wheel of some of the latest models on the market today.
The event comes hot on the heels of several renewable developments on the island in recent months. In April, Community Energy Scotland announced it was part of a new £2million consortium, Project ACCESS, to develop a system to supply electricity from renewable sources straight to local consumers. Weeks later the community- owned 4MW Garmony Hydro Scheme started generating electricity - and it has already exceeded its generation targets for June and July.
Energy Saving Trust’s head of new services Harry Mayers said: ‘ With most electric cars now boasting ranges of 80-100 miles, you could comfortably drive from Garmony to Fionnphort and back again on a single charge. That’s not to mention the environmental benefit to the island. Mull is rightly proud of its reputation as one of the world’s most naturally stunning destinations for wildlife and landscape. The reduction in fuel emissions offered by electric cars can only be of benefit to the island.’
The first information event will be held in Tobermory’s Aros hall between 7pm and 8.30pm on Friday September 18. The following day, An Roth Community Enterprise Centre in Craignure will host an information session between 10-11.30am. Immediately after this, drivers will be able to get behind the wheel of an electric car. Drivers on Mull can also currently apply for a new interest-free loan from the Scottish Government, covering 100 per cent of the cost of a new electric or plug-in hybrid car, up to £ 50,000.
This loan funding is in addition to the plug-in vehicle grant offered by the UK Government, which takes up to £ 5,000 off the list price of buying an electric car and £ 8,000 off the cost of an electric van. The discount is automatically applied at the point of purchase.
General manager of Mull and Iona community trust Moray Finch brought his Nissan Leaf to the mainland on Thursday September 3 to give Oban Times staff an idea of the car’s capabilities. Moray explained: ‘ The car is absolutely perfect for me. If I come over on the ferry, I can leave it at the rapid charging point at the CalMac pier, buy the Oban Times and go for a cup of coffee. Around 30 minutes later, it’s ready to go. I don’t doubt these vehicles are the future but they are slightly limited at the moment. But the next-generation of batteries, which look like doubling the range of the vehicles, will make electric vehicles even more appealing.’
PLUGGED IN: Moray Finch powers up his Nissan Leaf at the charging point at the
CalMac pier in Oban