If you’re looking to drive an electric car powered almost entirely by renewable energy, we have a vacation destination in mind.
Islands in the remote Scottish Hebrides archipelago get plenty of wind, and some are making use of it with renewable-energy infrastructure.
And the power generated by that infrastructure will now be used for a fleet of Renault electric cars.
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The cars will be available to rent–on an hourly or daily basis–to residents and visitors of the Outer Hebrides.
The fleet includes nine Renault Zoe hatchbacks, and one Kangoo ZE van.
Most of the electricity used to power these cars will come from the Pentland Road wind farm.
Renault Zoe and Kangoo ZE electric cars on the Outer Hebrides
Built at a cost of 24 million pounds (about $37 million) and developed over a 12-year period, the wind farm was designed to take advantage of local conditions and provide residents with renewable power.
Its efficiency is such that, combined with the wind-swept nature of the local climate, that the six turbines can supply enough electricity to meet the entire domestic load of the Outer Hebrides.
Renewable energy can be particularly beneficial to people living on remote islands.
ALSO SEE: Small Islands Are Biggest Beneficiaries Of Renewable Energy
On of the Hebrides–Eigg–has set a goal of becoming the first island to rely entirely on renewable energy sources.
Being cut off from the mainland, it previously relied on individual diesel generators.
Eigg Electric has worked to create a comprehensive grid powered by wind turbines, solar panels, and hydroelectric generators.
This reduces carbon emissions, and turns island’s more-extreme weather conditions into a potential asset, rather than an inconvenience.
Renewable sources can also help lower the cost of electricity for island residents, who are cut off from the mainland’s grid infrastructure.
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Remote islands also generally have small populations of year-round residents, which makes electricity demand manageable.
That–along with the absence of local competition from established utilities–makes islands good locations for renewable-energy projects to thrive.
And when it comes to electric cars, range anxiety is less of an issue when there’s only a limited amount of space to drive around.
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