The tourism boffins in England’s Lake District want to make electric cars available to visitors so they can motor around in silence without creating carbon emissions. But these cars don’t look like just any electric cars. They are painted to look like the sheep that dot the countryside. If you have ever traveled to the hinterlands of Jollye Olde Englande, your strongest memory will probably involve being surrounded by sheep. Lots of sheep. Sheep as far as the eye can see.
There are about 10 sheep for every person in western England, out where the towns have names like Bowness-on-Windermere, Broughton Mills and High Newton. The County Council has selected the Renault Twizy for the job of making tourists feel comfortable doing what tourists do. The quirky little cars have a maximum speed of 50 mph. They can go up to 40 miles on a charge, which is enough to meander over to Ambleside, Penrith or Keswick for a pint and still get home without plugging in.
The council has arranged for 10 of the electric cars to be on hand for visitors. They rent for £10 an hour, £25 for a half day, or £45 for a full day. The pound is worth about $1.50 these days, so just multiply all of those amounts by 1.5 times. The hope is that people will leave their regular cars at home and take the train to the Lake District. That way, they won’t be spewing out carbon emissions all the way from Charring Cross.
“It damages the environment if there’s lots of cars on the road, it’s not a nice place to drive around if you’re sitting in queues of traffic,” says Nicola Parker of the Cumbria County Council. “The Twizy provides a low emissions, sustainable way of travelling around the area. They’re completely silent, it’s peaceful, you can explore the nooks and crannies of the Lake District in a fun and quirky way.”
How quirky? The shepherds in the area use an archaic system to count their sheep. Instead of one, two, three, they say yan, tyan, tethera. So the ten Twizies are named accordingly: yan, tyan, tethera, methera, pip, sethera, lethera, hovera, dovera and dec. Quirky you want? Quirky you got!
“A lot of people, they might just use it as a form of transport because we get a lot of motor homes that don’t bring vehicles and they kind of feel like they’re stuck here but if they have these to hire they can kind of get out and about,” Sarah Lightburn of Watermillock tells ITV News. “They’ve basically just been couples because they’re two seaters and they’ve just been kind of travelling around Glenridding and other places, which are tourist attractions really.”
If you’re in Cumbria County any time soon, be sure to rent one of these adorable electric cars. What better way to see sheep than from a sheep car, especially if you only have yan, tyan, or tethera hours available?