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New Forest introduces electric cars for tourists
Buy this photo » Chief executive of Visit England, James Beresford, launches the electric car hire scheme.
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.