Lochaber is electric and buzzing for new technology

ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROADSHOW The Morris family tary out the e-commerce delivery bike operated by xxx of the town’s Wildcat Cafe. PIcture Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

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Fort William residents got the chance to test drive electric vehicles at an event organised by Lochaber Environmental Group (LEG) at the Nevis Centre.

More than 100 people attended the showcase on Saturday August 17, with 50 taking test drives.

The Saturday public event featured vehicles from Volkswagen, Hyundai, Nissan and Jaguar. A Tesla Model 3 was available at a business event the day before.

Zach Wilshart of LEG said: ‘Electric cars are practical for most rural people. They are cheap to run and unless you regularly drive more than the battery range in one day, you can charge overnight and will hardly ever need to visit a public charger. For high mileage drivers with a driveway who rarely do more than 200 miles a day, an electric car is probably more convenient than petrol or diesel.’

With charging points up and down Scotland, it is possible to get from Gretna to Shetland without running out of power.

While electric cars are expensive compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts, charging one can cost as little as £8 for a 200-mile range.

Ebikes, provided by Off Beat Bikes and Nevis Cycles, were also on show.

Damian ‘Foss’ Foster, owner of Off Beat Bikes, has seen interest in the new technology grow. He said: ‘The batteries and motors are getting better every year, with current models able to do 50 miles in one charge.

‘We frequently rent ebikes. They have allowed people who might have thought they could never ride again to get back on the saddle.’

Lochaber Environmental Group hopes to repeat the event next year.

In the meantime, anyone wanting to test drive an electric vehicle should contact dealers directly or LEG can arrange these if there is enough demand.