December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
An eco-conscious B&B owner is hoping to drive environmentally friendly tourism to north Norfolk after installing a charge point for electric cars at her guest house.
Sue Burton runs the Pirate House in Sheringham and installed the plug point to attract visitors to the area who might have previously been put off by the distance between chargers.
And her socket set now joins a growing number across the county.
There are an estimated 22 hook ups across Norfolk but the number is set to almost double, after Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was awarded £131,595 of government funding to install sockets at 40 of its stations.
Alongside this, Source East - the region’s electric vehicle recharging network - aims to establish a network of 800 publicly accessible charging points across the region, with car plugs within 25 miles of all businesses and residents.
Several car manufacturers are now producing electric, zero emission cars. The Nissan Leaf, Vauxhall Ampera, BMW i3 and Mitsubishi i-MiEV are among a growing number, many of which that have a range of over 100 miles on a full battery.
Plug points to charge the cars also range. Rapid chargers will boost a battery to full in half an hour, but most standard chargers will take around eight hours to go from flat to full
The German Flocken Elektrowagen, built in the 1800s, is regarded as the world’s first electric car. Before the internal combustion engine came to prominence there were several electric cars on the market.
The G-Wiz, a small city runaround, was one of the first electric cars to hit the mass market in 2001. The compact car, which has sold well in London, can manage 40 miles on one charge
Electric car company Tesla Motors was launched in America in 2003. The Tesla Roadster, the world’s first electric performance car released in 2008 that can manage a top speed of 125mph, was manufactured by Group Lotus at its Hethel site in Norfolk.
Famous electric vehicles include; the battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicle that roamed the Moon during the Apollo missions, the new Pendolino high speed tilting trains used throughout Europe, the Sinclair C5, the Ford Explorers used to tour Jurassic Park in the 1993 film and the humble milkfloat, that replaced horse drawn carts in the UK in the 1950s and 60s.
Source East, in which members pay £10 a year to use any of the scheme’s charging points, already has 12 sockets across Norfolk and has seen a rise in electric car ownership across the region in the last two years.
Russell Fenner, from Source East, said: “With more electric and plug-in hybrid models coming onto the market, we anticipate the speed of growth to pick up even further during the coming year. In Norfolk and Suffolk specifically, there have been more electric car sales this year than in the previous three years combined.
“The infrastructure is growing as well. There are now over 490 charging points in the Source East network and we will be expanding this with more fast and rapid chargers in the next six months.”
Mr Fenner added that by the end of the year the eastern region is set to have the largest concentration of electronic car clubs outside of London.
Mrs Burton was encouraged to install a car charger by her son Chris Atkins, dealer principal at Desira Nissan in Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
Through his work he learnt about a government scheme that funds the installation of charge points and thought it would add another green attraction to her B&B business.
Mrs Burton said: “I’d spoken to people who didn’t come up to north Norfolk because of worrying about the lack of charging points and I thought it’s something we could offer.
“I try to have a number of eco features for the B&B.”
Alongside her organic sheets, bathroom sun tube, low carbon electricity supplier and train station pick up service, Mrs Burton hopes the charger will help drive north Norfolk’s eco-friendly tourism offer.
“We hope it will bring people that haven’t thought about coming before,” she added. “It’s quite exciting, we’re just waiting for someone to come and book in now.”
Mr Atkins, who brought an electric Nissan Leaf to his mum’s to demonstrate how the socket works, thought more people were becoming interested in green transport.
He said: “The (car) market is ever increasing and the network of charging stations is ever increasing.
“People are becoming more and more conscious of their carbon footprint and these cars make a sensible choice for many people when they start doing the homework, and realise what it does and consider their own daily usage.”