The 'Henney Kilowatt', a 1961 production electric car based on the Renault Dauphine.
The Environmental Approach
Two minutes down the road from Green Brae barn you will find The Kinloch Hotel in Blackwaterfoot, where not only can you enjoy a great pint or glass of wine to go with an excellent meal, but also charge your car while doing so!
Ok, so not every car. You will need one of the new(ish) breeds of Electric Vehicle which are now appearing on our roads, and providing that you don't live too far away from the ferry at Ardrossan, and you have such a vehicle, then Arran is no longer a 'no go' area.
This free service was put in place in early 2013 by Robbie Crawford, the hotel manager. Always looking to ways of helping the environment, this is not the only 'eco friendly' installation at the hotel. In 2010 a biomass wood chip boiler was installed to power all the heating and hot water. One of the very first to be found in Scotland.
With a distance of approximately 56 miles around the Isle of Arran, there is no problem with a round trip finding you short on power, with most vehicles at time of writing capable of 100 miles plus on one charge.
Although not yet connected, a second charging point is now installed at the port in Brodick.
'Electric Vehicle' - Not such a New Idea
When I began to write this I thought (as you may do also) that the Electric Car was a relatively new idea. Not so. The red car on the left is a 1961 aptly named 'Henney Kilowatt' and it doesn't stop there as this extract from Wikipedia shows:
Electric cars enjoyed popularity between the late 19th century and early 20th century, when electricity was among the preferred methods for car propulsion, providing a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the petrol cars of the time. Advances in internal combustion technology, especially the electric starter, soon rendered this advantage moot; the greater range of petrol cars, quicker refueling times, along with the mass production of petrol vehicles by companies such as the Ford, which reduced prices of petrol cars to less than half that of equivalent electric cars, led to a decline in the use of electric propulsion, effectively removing it from important markets by the 1930s
Crazy quirky Folding Electric Car
The 'Hiriko' electric folding car being shown off. Maybe not a car we will be seeing on Arran anywhere in the near future, but with the advance of charging stations like the ones appearing in Blackwaterfoot and Brodick, it will not be long before the electric car is a much more common site on our roads.
Jacqueline and Geoff moved to the beautiful Isle of Arran in 2012, and have been visiting since 1998.