Electric blue is a fitting colour for the Tesla Roadster on show at the South West Renewable Energy Marketplace in Exeter. The sports car runs on electricity yet can accelerate from 0 - 60mph in only 3.7 seconds. At a hundred thousand pounds there's only a few of these high performance vehicles in Britain. What it makes up for in speed it loses in potential range and requires a full charge every two hundred and fifty miles. Owner Archer Maclean, though, says he prefers this car to a Ferrari for performance and economic returns.
– Archer Maclean, Owner
Now I've got no petrol costs at all, there is no road tax etc etc, I'm saving five to six thousand pounds a year.
According to industry statistics electric cars are around £6,400 more expensive than their petrol equivalent. But as battery life increases and costs fall combined with the rising price of petrol then the market is predicted to grow. That could mean big business for renewable energy firms in the region. Sungift Solar from Exeter has taken it a step further and built a solar power producing car port. Through the Government’s Feed in Tariff scheme for solar power generation it means that the car owner would actually get paid for producing the electric to power their car.
– Gabriel Wondrausch, Director of the firm
Making the most of the energy you produce means it's much more financially attractive so with the PV and Feed in Tariff you actually get paid for all the energy you produce, you then get to use that energy for free so you're saving for paying on any fuel whilst you're getting paid for the energy you're producing.
On the streets of Exeter motorists were sceptical for now but with rising petrol prices they could see a future for electric cars.
– Some views from motorists in Exeter.
I remain to be convinced but if I am then yes I'd have a go if it could do what this does then yes I would be convinced.
It's a thing of the future quite honestly not that I really like them that much and would go that way myself but in the general picture of things it will improve a lot.
The green industry is becoming ever more valuable to our economy and at the annual event in Westpoint much business is done to help the sector to expand according to the boss of Regen SW, Merlin Hyman.
– Merlin Hyman, Regen SW
It's a bright spot in our economy according to our latest figures it's employing across sustainable energy around 10,000 people in the South West already and we're seeing quite strong growth so this is a great opportunity again for this part of the world to build great local businesses that can export their skills and technology across the world.
The price of fuel not only affects driving, one of the region's leading farmers co-operatives, Mole Valley Farmers, has a renewable energy test centre in Somerset where they're researching green power generated on farm can mean profits for agricultural businesses says the firm’s Steve Edmonds.
– Steve Edmonds
This is a gamechanger, actually the economics stack up so that this can make some of those businesses profitable.
As Fossil fuels run out, the region is becoming a UK leader on the alternative sources of energy.