Tiree Community Powerdown project has been looking at the feasibility of electric vehicles.
The community identified green transport as an objective in the 2004 Community Development Plan. Electric vehicles have improved in design and battery capacity to give robust vehicles with ranges of up to 70 miles and top speeds of 60 miles per hour. The cars have all the features you would expect in a modern vehicle. And are completely silent! They are cheap to run at approximately 1.5 pence per mile for fuel costs compared to 17.5 pence per mile for conventional cars. They are more expensive to buy compared with conventional cars.
Tiree is well suited to electric vehicles because:
- There is a premium on imported fossil fuels
- Most journeys on Tiree are short and over flat terrain
- We have an exceptional wind resource which can provide an excess of electricity at night when it is cheapest to use
- The most efficient use of this electricity is at the place where it is generated.
Climate challenge fund
One funding stream, the Climate Challenge Fund, is aimed at community benefit and carbon reduction. An application for two electric vehicles for community use has been made.
If we are successful the vehicles are expected to be kept at the Business Centre and we will also aim to install a small wind turbine there so that the vehicles will provide carbon neutral transport. The vehicles we have requested funding for are one mini-bus and one car. The car would be primarily used by the meals on wheels service and by the staff of community organisations. It would also be available for trial by Tiree residents.
For the first 8 months of the project community use of the vehicles will be free. After this period a hire charge of around 12p per mile is proposed to cover costs. The project aims to raise awareness of and trial electric vehicles for Tiree conditions and to ensure that as many as possible existing community car journeys are made using electric vehicles.
The project proposes to lease the vehicles for a 3 year period and replace up to 22,000 miles each year providing a total carbon emissions saving of 21 tonnes.
Northern Periphery Programme
Tiree community has also been approached by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to participate in an electric vehicle project aimed at hiring cars to tourists.
This project, which could be the first tourist electric car hire programme in the UK, could result in less congestion on the ferry at peak times and help to promote Tiree as a ‘green’ destination.
The Northern Periphery project requires links to be made between different countries including Sweden, Ireland, Iceland and Norway. For this project the lead partner is the Swedish Roads Authority, with other partners in Harjedalen, Sweden, and East Iceland.
HIE wish to identify a community organisation who will be responsible for the project on Tiree and identify who will operate the scheme (probably an existing business) and any other key stakeholders who would be associate partners for the project.
A business plan is required by 24th March and if successful the project would run for 3 years from September 2010.
For more info on either of these projects please contact Frances Woodhead, Community Powerdown Officer at the Rural Centre on 220 677 or 07775 354789.