Bruce-the-buggy continues to behave like the research prototype he is by exhibiting some slightly awkward performance issues on test runs. This is making it difficult to establish reliable range expectations for Bruce’s performance on Eigg – not helped by the fact that the test runs are on mainland roads and in mainland traffic. Given that there are a couple of short steep climbs on Eigg and Bruce may be towing a loaded trailer up from the ferry, we need to know what trial participants can expect. Bob Murphy at Edinburgh College is working hard to establish these parameters and this is taking a bit longer than we thought.
We have therefore decided to bring forward our plans for Toro, our recently ruggedised Rural Twizy and send him up to Eigg before Bruce arrives. The good news is this will be a useful test of how well the Rural Twizy can function in a more challenging environment and it will provide a comparison point with Bruce when he finally arrives. Toro is a Renault Twizy that we have modified to cope with rougher roads and carry more luggage. This all helps us fulfil the goal of the Eigg trial which is to explore what kind of lightweight, low cost, rugged electric vehicle might work on remote islands like Eigg where all journeys are short and the island generates its own renewable electricity but has to ship in expensive diesel by ferry to power the cars.
10 households are signed up to try living with the electric vehicles and see how it works for them. Some of the other small islands might also participate if costs and logistics allow. The trial is being run as a collaboration between the Eco Travel Network, Eigg Box and Edinburgh College funded by the Green Transport Prize which the Eco Travel Network won last year.
Toro will be arriving on Eigg on Friday 11th July. Stay tuned and follow developments via twitter @ecofunkytravel