VIDEO: Dundee is ‘leading the way’ in electric cars ‘by a distance’

August 18 2017, 8.30amUpdated: August 18 2017, 9.00am

They cost less to run than petrol and diesel cars and have huge benefits for the environment, but many still remain uncertain about making the switch to electric vehicles (EVs).

And yesterday representatives from more than 80 businesses made their way to Dundee’s Caird Hall from as far afield as Aberdeen and Edinburgh to hear how the city has “led the way” in the technology.

© DC Thomson
A Tesla with its doors open at GreenFleet Dundee

Local firms both big and small, and even figures from the emergency services, attended the inaugural GreenFleet Dundee – an event aimed at “changing perceptions” surrounding EVs.

A number of electric cars were brought into the Shore Terrace car park for the day, with attendees offered the chance to take a spin around the city centre in Tesla, BMW, Mini, Nissan and Kia models.

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Dundee has been hailed for embracing the technology with the city council currently operating a fleet of about 80 of the vehicles.

The city is also believed to be home to the biggest number of electric taxis in Scotland.

© DC Thomson
GreenFleet Dundee Event Manager Colin Boyton.

GreenFleet Dundee organiser, Colin Boyton, said the idea behind the event was to show businesses that EVs can both improve air quality and “save money”.

He added: “First and foremost when it comes to electric vehicles in Scotland Dundee is the city that has led the way by a distance. The council has been hugely proactive in terms of embracing the technology themselves.

“The big thing has always been, and it is changing, but it has always been something called range anxiety.

© DC Thomson
GreenFleet Dundee

“So people are scared or concerned that they are not going to get where they want to go and still have enough battery power to either reach their destination  or get to their destination and then come back. And as the technology has gone on that is now starting to be overcome.

“The best and easiest way to change people’s perceptions and minds is to get them in the cars. You don’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on.

“It was hugely popular, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response we’ve had from Dundee businesses.”

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A Tesla Model S was among the cars being offered for test drives.

It can go from 0-60mph in under three seconds and run for about 300 miles before being recharged.

The council and Transport Scotland were among those to give presentations to businesses yesterday.

Convener of the local authority’s city development committee Lynne Short said she hoped embracing EVs would help create “a much better future for the people of the city”.

She added: “We have in the city, down in Broughty Ferry, the most used charging point in the whole of Scotland.

“We outclass everybody when it comes to the fleet for the council and we have more taxis in the city that are electric vehicles than anywhere else in Scotland.  And obviously we have the infrastructure that fits in with that.

“Ultimately the reason that we’re doing it isn’t because we want to show off and get rewards, it’s about my son and all the sons and daughters in the city. It’s about the future.”

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