News from ecodrive

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ecodrive supported Cornwall Council to become one of the UK's first 'Plugged In Places', through the UK Department for Transport's Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) funding, providing a network of charging stations across Cornwall for, initially, a public sector fleet and subsequently private users and tourists.

The charging points support businesses and individuals purchasing, leasing or renting electric cars, motoscooters and light commercial vehicles.

They are positioned for easy recharging in car parks for commuters and shoppers and are supplemented by rapid charging facilities for 'pit stop' charging.

ecodrive volunteered with the Cornwall-based international relief agency Shelterbox to help assemble relief packs to provide shelter for victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Each box contains a ten-person tent, thermal blankets, groundsheets, mosquito nets, cooking & water purification equipment, other kitchen essentials, tools and childrens' activity pack... remember, many people have lost everything.

Visit Shelterbox to donate or volunteer or simply learn more about their excellent work.

ecodrive was featured on BBC Radio 4's "Costing the Earth" series as part of a piece exploring sustainable tourism in Cornwall. ecodrive's involvement stems from working closely with the significant tourism sector in Cornwall and our plans to offer electric rental cars to visitors, supported by a network of charging points and partner accommodation providers such as Trelowarren on the Lizard peninsula.

»  Radio 4's Costing the Earth homepage

Update: ecodrive were also featured on the last episode of the series examining the history of development of the electric car and the touting of 'hydrogen fuel cells' as the future (which face significant challenges in their development and, ultimately, use more energy than Battery Electric Vehicles!)

BBC Radio Cornwall's morning presenter David White is currently driving an ecodrive Peugeot 106 Electric for a week on a trial. David had a ride in a small electric 'golf buggy' and was sure that there was more to electric vehicles - so we showed him that there is! He is using it for his commute into work at the radio station at Phoenix Wharf, Truro and other journeys around the area.

Update: David thoroughly enjoyed his week with the electric car, using it with ease for his commute and other journeys to visit family around Cornwall.

ecodrive are proud to be sponsoring the Neighbourhood Beat Team of the local Police station with an electric van for a six-month period. The van will be used by Community Support Officers to access their rural beats, to deliver cycle-wise training to children in local schools and by traffic wardens. The van has already found good service with 9 staff given access to it. It is recharged overnight at the station using an existing supply.

Sporting the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary crest on the doors and "Police" decals it is their latest "stealth" weapon! Read Police press release

Featured on ITV Westcountry, Atlantic FM and BBC Radio Cornwall the van is making quite a noise... or rather it isn't!

ecodrive was invited to a preview of a new US documentary film "Who Killed The Electric Car?"

We would like to stress that we don't think that the electric car is dead at all! In the US, several high-performance vehicles were produced in the 1990s in response to State mandates which were subsequently destroyed by the manufacturers. The UK and European market for EVs is somewhat different and enjoying renewed interest! Viva the electric vehicle!

» Read our review, watch trailer, visit website

ecodrive was featured on the BBC World Service "One Planet" programme in an item examining sustainable tourism.

ecodrive is proud to have received "Highly Commended" runner-up in the Cornwall Sustainability Awards.

This year's Awards, which celebrate good practice in sustainable development, attracted a record number of entries from a wide range of businesses, including food processing, printing, brewing and transport, building renovation, clothing, retail and tourism.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Sustainability Awards were set up by the six Cornish District and Borough Councils, Cornwall County Council, Cornwall Enterprise, the Environment Agency, Groundwork Trust and Cornwall Business School. The Awards celebrate and share good practice and support Cornish businesses in working towards a sustainable future.

Award winners are selected by a panel of judges from local businesses and professional environmental organisations.

ecodrive was featured on the regional ITV news magazine "Westcountry Live" as part of an article exploring alternative fuels in relation to the latest fuel price rises.

Hendra Holiday Park near Newquay is trialling an ecodrive van for evaluation over their busiest peak period. Hendra were looking to alternative fuels for their fleet of petrol fuelled vans but are now going to add the quiet, clean and incredibly cheap-to-run electric vans!

They are ideal for running around the holiday park and also for local journeys into Newquay. Their quiet operation means that they don't disturb residents in tents and caravans late at night or early in the morning. They are easily "refuelled" on-site using the touring electric hook-up points.

ecodrive will soon be sponsoring a "walking bus" at a Cornwall primary school by providing high-visibility, reflective vests for the children and their escorts to wear when walking to and from school.

The walking bus collects children from their houses or pre-arranged meeting points to walk safely to school, escorted by parents and then on the return journey home, saving many car journeys at peak times, cutting congestion and pollution!

Electric cars at CSEP conferenceThe Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership recently held their biennial conference at the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) Tremough Campus at Penryn, near Falmouth. The "Energy in Regeneration" conference brought speakers and delegates from all over Europe.

Keen to make the conference as sustainable as possible CSEP enlisted ecodrive's help to provide four electric cars for a pre-conference visit to the awe-inspiring Eden Project. The four cars ran in convoy from Tremough to Eden where they were recharged for the return journey.

On the day of the conference itself, the cars were used to shuttle delegates to and from the local train station providing an integrated transport system. Many delegates took the (rare) opportunity to test drive an electric car!

Volunteers planting treesUpdate: CSEP have donated 200 trees to "carbon neutralise" the conference. ecodrive have helped to plant these in a local woodland.

Oaks, Hazels, Hornbeams, Wild Cherry Pear and Service trees were planted in glades left by fallen trees to aid age diversity in this 160 year old, 14 hectare wood.

The lead Big Lottery evaluator is using Crenver Grove as an exemplar project, at the London BTCV conference to illustrate how small amounts of funding can really enable communities to take action, contribute to their environment and help others engage with environmental issues.

ecodrive provided two electric vans for the collection of recycling at the Royal Cornwall Show.

Electric van at Royal Cornwall ShowRecycle for Cornwall in association with Rezolve, CoaST (Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project) and the Environment Agency made a concerted effort to improve recycling at the showground this year, with an armada of wheelie bins with highly visible "bin toppers" showing which recyclables should be put into which bins.

Our electric vans allowed the Recycle for Cornwall, Rezolve and CoaST staff service the collection points in zero-emission style!

The effort was a superb success with tonnes of recycling collected, with over half-a-tonne of cardboard collected from stalls and exhibits before the show even opened to the public!

Electric car at Royal Cornwall ShowWe also displayed one of our electric cars next to the Community Energy Plus energy efficiency stand, giving people the opportunity to look under the bonnet and ask questions.