THE rest of the country may be in the grip of a road fuel crisis – but one Easter Ross man does not have to panic-buy at the pumps.
George Glaister, 51, of Station Road, Evanton, specialises in electric vehicles charged up from a windmill and solar panels in his garden. Mr Glaister has a collection of electric bikes, mopeds, trikes and motorbikes, all fired up by the sun and wind.
He said: “The main benefits are that they can be recharged using non-polluting renewable energy sources. Electric vehicles do not burn petrol or use oil. Consequently, they emit no harmful exhaust fumes and they are silent. A normal car can run for thousands of miles with maintenance, but an electric car can run for millions of miles without any maintenance.”
Mr Glaister, a former cartographer, started his social enterprise company as a hobby in 2002, but it has now grown into something bigger.
He said he was inspired to set up the project because of the realisation that petrol would one day run out.
Mr Glaister, who is the Scottish area co-ordinator for the Battery Vehicle Society, has also designed and built his own range of portable renewable energy power stations, which are capable of fully recharging an electric bike or powering one room within a house during a power cut or emergency.
He said the bikes, in effect, run off a lithium mobile phone battery. One of his bikes has a speed of 15mph with up to a 37-mile range, which goes even faster and farther if the cyclist assists the motor by pedalling.
Mr Glaister has several electric vehicles, including two small electric cars. One of them is a Scamp, which was built by Scottish Aviation in Prestwick in 1965.
He said he also hopes to set up a network of charging points throughout the Highlands to extend the range of the vehicles.
For more information, log on to www.elect richorse.co.uk