New Forest introduces electric cars for tourists

Forest on a charge with fleet of electric hire cars

Chief executive of Visit England, James Beresford, launches the electric car hire scheme.

Chief executive of Visit England, James Beresford, launches the electric car hire scheme.

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter, New Forest

THEY are perfect for anyone with an all-electric approach to saving the environment.

Tourists visiting the New Forest can hire a Renault Twizy – a battery-powered two-seater that enables people to explore the countryside without polluting the air.

The multi-coloured cars are capable of 50mph and can travel for up to 62 miles once they have been fully charged.

More than 20 charge points have been installed at hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions, enabling people to use the vehicles all day long.

Tourism chiefs say the Forest is the first holiday destination in the UK to operate a fleet of Twizys.

James Beresford, chief executive of Visit England, launched the scheme at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, to mark English Tourism Week.

Exhibits at the award-winning museum include a Columbia electric car built in 1901 and used by Queen Alexandra at Sandringham.

The £49-a-day Twizy rental package comes complete with a Brand New Forest card, which offers hundreds of discounts at pubs, restaurants and tourist attractions equipped with a charge point.

The eco-friendly scheme is run by a company called New Forest Environmental.

Spokesman Stephen Vine said: “The Twizy is designed for urban areas but we’ve found a role for it as a fun recreational vehicle in the countryside.

“We’ve created a major alternative use which is enjoyable, adventurous and introduces the benefits of electric vehicles.”

Anthony Climpson, the district council’s employment and tourism manager, told the Daily Echo: “The new scheme puts us at the forefront of UK tourism.

“We’re proud to be the first to launch a Twizy fleet with a network of charge points. They’re very quick off the blocks and great fun to drive.”

Half the 20 vehicles already operating in the Forest can be hired from Cycle Experience in Brookley Road, Brockenhurst.

The shop is next door to Brockenhurst railway station, making the £7,000 cars ideal for people arriving in the area by train.

The others are available to guests staying at various hotels, including Stanwell House, the Balmer Lawn and the Drift Inn.

Twizys can be used by anyone 21 or older who has held a valid driving licence for more than a year.

For more information call 01590 624066 or go online to brandnewforest.com/twizy.

Comments (7)

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5:00pm Fri 22 Mar 13

1981tom says...

"enables people to explore the countryside without polluting the air" - Where does the electricity come from then?
"enables people to explore the countryside without polluting the air" - Where does the electricity come from then? 1981tom
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Fri 22 Mar 13

Frank28 says...

I saw one in town yesterday, and the driver had parked in facing the curb. Unfortunately, cars had parked in spaces either side of it, and he wasn't able to open either of the doors!
I saw one in town yesterday, and the driver had parked in facing the curb. Unfortunately, cars had parked in spaces either side of it, and he wasn't able to open either of the doors! Frank28
  • Score: 0

7:34pm Fri 22 Mar 13

Bowmore says...

£49 ad day! I can't see many people willing to pay that much for a tiny thing like that. Not even room for a picnic basket. A small conventionally powered car capable of carrying 4 people can be hired for about 1/3rd of that price.
£49 ad day! I can't see many people willing to pay that much for a tiny thing like that. Not even room for a picnic basket. A small conventionally powered car capable of carrying 4 people can be hired for about 1/3rd of that price. Bowmore
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Fri 22 Mar 13

derek james says...

1981tom wrote:
"enables people to explore the countryside without polluting the air" - Where does the electricity come from then?
why windmills of course! with a range of 50 miles(,probably less with lights and wipers, no heater and distinct lack of charging points i cannot see it being that popular except among the likes of freefinker, if you factor in the full environmental cost of getting the material out of the ground for the batteries and disposing of after they have reached the end of their useful life a lot of these vehicles don't have any more green credentials than a conventional car
[quote][p][bold]1981tom[/bold] wrote: "enables people to explore the countryside without polluting the air" - Where does the electricity come from then?[/p][/quote]why windmills of course! with a range of 50 miles(,probably less with lights and wipers, no heater and distinct lack of charging points i cannot see it being that popular except among the likes of freefinker, if you factor in the full environmental cost of getting the material out of the ground for the batteries and disposing of after they have reached the end of their useful life a lot of these vehicles don't have any more green credentials than a conventional car derek james
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Fri 22 Mar 13

Turtlebay says...

62 miles - closer to 40 with lights and wipers - gives a mere 20 mile radius from your base before returning for a recharge!
62 miles - closer to 40 with lights and wipers - gives a mere 20 mile radius from your base before returning for a recharge! Turtlebay
  • Score: 0

12:24am Sat 23 Mar 13

Eric_Cartman says...

1981tom wrote:
"enables people to explore the countryside without polluting the air" - Where does the electricity come from then?
Car engine efficiency: 30% at best.
Steam turbine in Power Station efficiency: 60%.
Electric cars do cause pollution while running but much less than a petrol or diesel car.
To be honest though, I think I'll stick to my old car when visiting the Forest
[quote][p][bold]1981tom[/bold] wrote: "enables people to explore the countryside without polluting the air" - Where does the electricity come from then?[/p][/quote]Car engine efficiency: 30% at best. Steam turbine in Power Station efficiency: 60%. Electric cars do cause pollution while running but much less than a petrol or diesel car. To be honest though, I think I'll stick to my old car when visiting the Forest Eric_Cartman
  • Score: 0

8:30am Sat 23 Mar 13

Maine Lobster says...

Another silly distraction in the name of saving the planet. Methane from cattle produces fare more harm than modern exhaust gases. The war against the motorist is simply about an excuse for more taxation. Electric cars will not catch on until they are capable of long distances, quick recharging and cheap prices.
Another silly distraction in the name of saving the planet. Methane from cattle produces fare more harm than modern exhaust gases. The war against the motorist is simply about an excuse for more taxation. Electric cars will not catch on until they are capable of long distances, quick recharging and cheap prices. Maine Lobster
  • Score: 0

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