From July to November 2014, the Eco Travel Network ran a trial of our modified rural Twizy ‘Toro’ on the Isle of Eigg. 14 households used Toro for a week each. They did 564 miles (most trips being less than 3 or 4 miles) and consumed 83.5 kWh of electricity generated from their own renewable electricity supplies (wind, hydro and solar). The 564 miles cost the triallists £18 where the comparative diesel would have cost them around £83.
Toro was very popular – he made everyone smile and the islanders were particularly impressed by his nippiness, hill climbing and the fact that he only need charging about once a week!
Islands and other remote rural areas sorely need cheap, personal transport as they have no public transport and everyday facilities are often several miles away. Islands like Eigg also have to import all the diesel they use which is expensive. On the other hand, Eigg, along with a growing number of rural communities, produces all its own electricity and so could, in principle, be 100% self sufficient in meeting its own transport energy.
The trial suggests that a more robust version of the Twizy with better load carrying capability or a trailer would be ideal for many of Eigg’ transport needs. Counter to mainstream electric vehicle development and funding, they don’t require fast speeds, long range or specialist charging points.
The trial results challenge our thinking about the kind of transport any of us need for short journeys and how we can better match our everyday transport energy consumption to the renewable energy we can produce.
You can read the trial report here.
The trial has been enormous fun and we thank Lucy Conway of Eigg Box for collaborating in its running. The trial was funded from The Green Transport Prize which the Eco Travel Network was awarded in 2013.