Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales is inviting visitors to make the acquaintance of Boris and Blodwen, two fun-loving electric b-bugs making their debut this summer. As a sort of consumer trial, the little cars will be made available to visitors with a UK driving license and full auto insurance. They can hum along at up to 30mph for about 20 to 25 miles, then recharge at one of many charge points across the park.
The innovators behind Boris and Blodwen are Peter Williams and Alison Kidd, who own a local research company called The Prospectory. The company is partially supported by the Welsh government, and won the 2010 Hay Festival Green Dragon Award for Sustainable Development. Since the cars were launched at the 2011 Hay Festival, Peter and Alison have been doing some additional r&d, lining up a b-bug network of cafes, pubs, activity providers and such throughout the park.
The idea is to give visitors an attractive alternative to driving personal autos or large unwieldy motor homes to the many points of interest around Brecon Beacons. Drivers and passengers can drop into a pub for lunch, enjoy a canoe trip or any of a number of delightful pastimes and their batteries will be recharged by the time they’re ready to move on.
The b-bugs are powered by electricity generated literally from rain, i.e. the local hydro power plants. At present they certainly seem to be a win/win proposition: good for local business, fun for travellers and gentle with the environment. It is very likely that Boris and Blodwen will soon have a lot of offspring.