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Low Energy Travel that’s FUN

Based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, we are about:-

  • Having fun.
  •  Using less energy to move ourselves around our hilly rural area
  • Experimenting
  • Exploiting local energy sources – sun, rain and wind.
  •  Benefiting networks of residents, visitors, businesses and communities.

Having fun

Alison Bushby compWe are much more likely to do something if it’s fun. Funky, low energy vehicles like Twizys are fun to drive and they make everyone smile.

Once we do something differently and enjoy it, we’ll rationalise why it’s a good thing to do. Changing our behaviour changes our attitudes and that’s a lot easier to achieve than the reverse.

And having fun is… well … fun!

Using less energy

63% of our rural journeys are less than 5 miles and 95% are less than 25 but we tend to do them in heavy, powerful vehicles designed to convey us at 70mph for long distances in air-conditioned comfort where 95% of the energy is consumed moving the vehicle rather than us! This is increasingly true, unfortunately, even with electric vehicles as they get bigger and faster.

Downhill run from Tor-y-foel in a TwizyTwizy-like vehicles are ideal for short journeys because they don’t pretend to be “proper cars” (in terms of speed, performance, comfort, air conditioning). They challenge our thinking about how much energy we actually need to expend if we are only nipping down the lane for a pint of milk.

And they don’t need special charge points or charging infrastructure – any building with a 13amp socket will suffice.

Experimenting

We like running experiments and real world trials, collecting quantitative and qualitative data to see what actually works and why. There are always surprises when people and technology are involved – you never know quite what will happen.

Local energy sources

Ultra lightweight quadracycles like Twizys  only use 120-140 Wh/mile – about the same per passenger mile as an urban tube train – and a fraction of the energy required by mainstream electric vehicles. We already generate enough energy in Powys from rain, wind and sun to support all our travel if it were all done in such low energy vehicles!

Talybont Hydro

And some of our Eco Travel Network (ETN) members are already self-sufficient for their local Twizy travel from their own domestic solar and micro hydro systems.

 

 

Local Networks

The ETN works through loose social networks of residents, businesses and visitors. Our members are currently tourism businesses and local residents who use the Twizys themselves for their everyday travel and hire them out to their visiting customers and sometimes share them with members of their local community. Hundreds have experienced the Twizy way to travel and this is resulting in further purchases.

Charging Talybont cafe

We also have over 40 volunteer Twizy charge points across the Park – these are pubs, cafes, visitor attractions and activity providers who offer access to a 13amp socket for visiting Twizys. They co-promote the ETN whilst also benefitting from featuring as Twizy destinations for visitors.

What next?

Yurt 2 compWe are expanding the network here. We are also busy exploring: other kinds of lightweight vehicles, more rugged, luggage carrying modifications for the Twizy, and enabling small Scottish islands to explore whether such vehicles might work well for them.

Follow our adventures on @ecofunkytravel