Orkney businesses and residents are being offered leasing deals for electric cars including Teslas and superminis under a £28.5m clean energy project.

Electric vehicle leasing company DriveElectric is supplying the electric vehicles (EVs) for the smart energy island project called ReFLEX (responsible flexibility) Orkney.

Orkney already generates over 100% of its electricity demand annually from renewables and this new project will "help to ensure that the Orkney community takes full advantage of its renewable energy potential" through a range of low carbon transport and power services exclusive to Orkney residents and businesses.

These are "being made available via affordable lease financing, helping customers to avoid large upfront costs".

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Launched by ReFLEX Orkney, the project demonstrates flexibility in the energy system by using technologies such as batteries, electric vehicles, smart chargers and smart meters.

To increase the use of electric vehicles, ReFLEX says it has an EV leasing model which offers a wide range of market-leading EVs, with strong financial incentives for early adoption.

The vehicles range from superminis to estate cars, with models such as Renault ZOEs and Teslas, and a variety of vans are also available, supplied by DriveElectric.

Vehicles are available for test drives in Orkney, and the lease model includes the use of a longer-range vehicle for trips off the island.

DriveElectric, of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, said it won the work as a result of its experience with EVs and charging projects.

ReFLEX has also introduced new 100% renewable electricity tariffs for Orkney residents which will help link energy technologies with ReFLEX’s integrated energy system, FlexiGrid.

Mike Potter, managing director, DriveElectric, said: “We are delighted to be working with ReFLEX Orkney to supply electric cars for the island. DriveElectric isn’t just a vehicle leasing company, we also have extensive experience in the areas of charging and renewable energy. This project is another example of our unique expertise in bringing together vehicles and energy to reduce emissions and create more sustainable communities.”

Gareth Davies, managing director of ReFLEX Orkney Ltd, said: “We are pleased to be working with DriveElectric to encourage early adoption of low carbon technologies including electric vehicles. This is very timely with the UK government recently announcing an end of the sale of new petrol and diesel and cars by 2030 as part of an ambitious plan for a green industrial revolution, and yet again Orkney is ahead of the curve, ready to demonstrate to the nation how it can be done.”

The ReFLEX Orkney project is part funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and match funded by private investment.

ReFLEX aims to create an integrated energy system (IES) in Orkney.

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