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.
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.
On the streets of Exeter motorists were sceptical for now but with rising petrol prices they could see a future for electric cars.
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.
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.
As Fossil fuels run out, the region is becoming a UK leader on the alternative sources of energy.