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Electric car creates a buzz

Bermuda's first commercially available electric car hit the streets yesterday when it was officially unveiled by Premier Paula Cox.

The Island E-Car, which will be sold by entrepreneurs Dennis Lister, Lloyd Telford and David Greene, has been designed and custom-built for the Island's roads.

The car, which can reach speeds of 60mph and costs $24,000, comes with a number of standard features including air conditioning, heater, power steering, electric front windows and key entry.

It takes six to eight hours to recharge when plugged into a 110-volt outlet or under four hours with a 220-volt quick charger, with a three to four-year battery life (an average of 30 miles per day) and a replacement battery costing approximately $1,800.

Mr Lister presented the car at a press conference held at Bermuda College, with which his company has teamed up to help train students in electric transportation technology.

He said the trio of entrepreneurs had been looking at the technology for several years now, starting out with the souped-up golf cart concept before moving onto kit vehicles and arriving at a car that was both functional and looked the part, having worked together with Ron and Tony LaPlant of manufacturer the Electric Car Co to produce the right prototype for Bermuda.

Reflecting the Island's significance in the electric vehicle market, the Electric Car Co manufactured its first right hand cars in order to meet Bermuda specifications in what proved to be an ideal environment in which to launch the model, with plans to roll out the car across the Caribbean next year.

Having already been well-received at a forum held in Nassau, the Bahamas, they decided the time was right to introduce the vehicle to Bermuda and entered into talks with Government and partners to bring the car in and distribute it.

“It was all down to getting the right vehicle for the people of Bermuda,” said Mr Lister. “We are extremely pleased with the quality of the vehicle that the LaPlant's have produced.”

Describing Mr Lister and his partnership as the “green dream team”, Premier Cox said the launch of the new vehicles on Bermuda's roads was a tribute to their success and perseverance.

“To see now the years of patience and hard work they have put in reflects really something that I think we can all be proud of,” she said.

“This is what entrepreneurship is all about - it's about finding an idea, running with it and tailoring it to the needs and uses of Bermuda.”

She said that the new vehicles meet the criteria for promoting a greener Bermuda and entrepreneurship within its shores while harnessing the powers of technology.

“I think this represents the 'new normal',” she said. “I think the idea that we are not just limiting ourselves to the Bermuda horizon but looking at a strategic partnership in the Caribbean and in the US is just great.”

Transport Minister Terry Lister said that in his former capacity as Energy Minister he had made the commitment to convert the Island from being fossil fuel dependent to relying on green energy sources and finding technologies that would work here, as evidenced by the new E-car.

“I would like to talk about Bermuda as a world leader in the energy field and to show the world that we are serious about making a difference,” he said.

Linda Smith, senior vice-president of corporate relations will look after corporate relations, communications and marketing for the Ascendant Group and its subsidiaries, which started using electric vehicles at Belco a decade ago, said that the technology had evolved since then and she was excited about the prospect of its application in Bermuda.

The cars, which are front wheel drive with suspension designed and manufactured by Lotus, can be serviced by Eric Williams at E&B Traders and have a lower overall operating cost due to coming with significantly less parts than a conventional fuel powered version, while the body and chassis are made of corrosion resistant steel alloys.

For more information contact Dennis Lister on 335-1712 or Lloyd Telford on 332-1822.

Green machine: Business partners Dennis Lister (left) and Lloyd Telford take the cover off a new Island E-car, watched by Premier Paula Cox during a launch at the Bermuda College yesterday.

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Published December 17, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 17, 2010 at 6:41 am)

Electric car creates a buzz

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