Garage wants new solar panels for green cars

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A CAR dealership is surging forward with plans to offer its customers the newest line of products - using the benefits of electric technology.

Rawlinson Renault, in Cratfield Road, on Moreton Hall, hopes to receive council approval to install 76 solar panels on its south facing roof.

If approved, the company will be able to generate enough energy to power the electric cars it plans to stock next year.

“We’re leading the way with electric cars,” said managing director, Jonathan Rawlinson, unveiling plans to stock a range of electric vehicles (EVs) including the Fluence saloon, Kangoo van, Clio-sized Zoe and ultra-compact Twizy by spring next year.

Its customers will lease their car battery for around £60 per month and Rawlinson Renault plans to build plug-in facilities so they can be charged on site.

Mr Rawlinson said: “It really is a new area and having driven them myself - I wasn’t sure but drove them last week - I’m absolutely convinced now.

“They’re fantastic to drive because they’re so quiet and relaxing.”

He said the amount of energy produced should also cover ‘quite a bit’ of the company’s own usage, while the total generated will be displayed on a screen in the show room for customers to see.

“It’s about to explode and I’m glad to say we’re ahead of the game,” said Mr Rawlinson.

The locations of charging points for plug-in vehicles are to be systematically mapped across the country to make it easier for motorists to go electric but St Edmundsbury already has two in its Parkway multistorey car park.

Since January this year, the Government has offered plug-in electric car buyers a 25 per cent subsidy off the purchase price of an electric vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000.

Renault estimates that electric vehicles will account for 10 per cent of the world market by 2020.