Visitors to the Brecon Beacons National Park will have a green way to travel around during their stay in 2012. It will be both low energy and environmentally friendly, and, for this year at least, distinctively French.
Tourism in the area is a high energy business. Visitors to the park currently average 50 car miles a day and produce 50,000 tonnes CO2/year.
Following the successful b-bug trial in 2011 (run by the B-Bug project – click here), new company Eco Travel Network Ltd will purchase, own and insure an electric vehicle (EV) fleet and lease them to member (tourist accommodation) businesses for them to rent out to their visiting customers to explore the area instead of using their cars.
Eco Travel Network had hoped to launch a set of b-bugs for the 2012 tourist season. However this has been delayed until 2013.
Instead the network will open its programme this summer with a fleet of Renault Twizys – electric, open-sided, “tandem-style quadricycles” launched by Renault UK in April. They have a 50 mile range and a top speed of 50 mph.
The scheme has grant ssupport from Brecon Beacons National Park Sustainable Development Fund. Eco Travel Network, a not-for-profit company, will purchase, own and insure its electric vehicle fleet and lease them to member businesses in the park.
Member businesses will use the Twizys to advertise their business and rent out to their visiting customers.
It is believed to be the first eco-vehicle tourist rental scheme operating in the UK.