The 100 per cent electric Renault Twizy is helping to preserve one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in the UK as part of an innovative car sharing scheme that provides visitors to the Lake District with an unforgettable and environmentally-compatible way to experience the beautiful region.

The vehicles are a core component of the ‘See More’ programme, being delivered in partnership by Cumbria County Council, The Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria Tourism, which is committed to enhancing visitor transport services in addition to reducing the impact of travel on the local environment. The car-sharing scheme includes ten Renault Twizys that are available to hire from eight different locations in Keswick and Ullswater. The scheme is run in association with Co-wheels Car Club – the UK’s only independently-owned national car club that provides low emission, hybrid and electric cars on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Agile, compact and light weight, the zero-emissions Renault Twizy is perfectly suited to the infrastructure of Ullswater and Keswick. The Twizy provides tourists with the ideal vehicle in which to explore the area and offers the peace of mind that their visit will have the minimum impact on the environment’s outstanding beauty and its road network. The Twizy’s silent running also ensures that engine noise won’t effect the environment or tourists’ sightseeing experience.

With the ultimate aim of encouraging visitors to leave their own cars at home, the availability of the Renault Twizys offers those arriving in the area by coach or train the option to easily experience picturesque parts of the Lake District that are unreachable by public transport. The car-sharing scheme is also designed to appeal to motorhome owners staying at local campsites, providing an alternative to taking their vehicles into more confined areas and doing away with the need to tow an additional, more manoeuvrable car that can be used for sightseeing.

Already one of the most eye-catching vehicles around, the two-seat Twizys have been made even more distinctive with a sheep livery. Each has also been named in traditional dialect (a mix of Westmorland and Cumberland numbers). To provide a level of protection against the elements, all of the Twizys have been specified with optional scissor doors and windows.

The arrival of the Twizys comes at a particularly busy time for Cumbria. With the holiday season fast approaching, work continues at a pace to rectify the significant flood damage from December’s heavy rain, while the region has just enjoyed the attraction-filled Cumbria Weekend and is also set to welcome one of the most colourful public art trails in the country. Due for launch at the end of March and organised by the Calvert Trust, the Go Herdwick trail features 61 decorated ewe figures that will be placed in public spaces and outside businesses on a route that takes in Keswick, Grasmere, Rydal, Ambleside and Windermere. To celebrate the arrival of the Twizys and the impending opening of the Go Herdwick Trail, a number of the specially-painted ewes and the Twizys were introduced to each other at a launch event hosted at the Rheged Centre, near Penrith.

On the launch of the Twizy car sharing scheme, Nicola Parker, Programme Manager for Cumbria Tourism’s See More programme, said: “This new flock of electric Twizys are all about offering visitors a fun, quirky way to experience the unique Lake District landscape – particularly at a time when we need to show visitors that it is still well and truly business as usual after the recent floods. The sheep theme is synonymous with the region, so what better way of helping passengers get up close and personal with nature and really savour everything that makes the Lakes so special.”

Richard Falconer, Managing Director, Co-wheels Car Club, added: “The Twizys were chosen as a light-hearted approach to help visitors think about zero emission driving. With their quirky looks and fun demeanour, the Renault Twizys are the perfect choice to attract conversation for visitors and residents alike. Cumbria now has a growing network of charge points, and with their ideal placement in campsites, the Twizys have a practical side too, allowing people who arrive in large cars or camper vans to have the freedom to explore the area in a small, silent vehicle.”

Two of the Renault Twizys are available to hire from Field Studies Centre Blencathra. Tim Foster, Head of Centre, FSC Blencathra, believes that the unique vehicles are an excellent fit for the facility and its visitors.

He explained: ‘The FSC is an environmental education charity and it is important that we try to ‘practice what we preach’ and promote the importance of sustainability to the 8,000 students that we welcome each year, many of whom are visiting the Lake District for the very first time. During their courses, students come into contact with our approach to ‘green tourism’ and the Twizys are a perfect fit for how we work to educate this, offering a very fun experience and being great ambassadors for sustainability with their batteries being charged by our own generated hydro-electricity.”

Ben Fletcher, Electric Vehicle Product Manager, Groupe Renault UK, said: “Twizy presents a really fun and unique way to travel and is ideal for making the most of a trip to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its ease of use and versatile charging system meaning that it is equally at home in rural areas as it is in the city. By opting for one of the Twizys, visitors to the Lake District can enjoy the scenery in a relaxing and very quiet way with the reassurance that their decision to not use their own vehicle is helping to preserve the local landscape for others to enjoy for many years to come.”

The Twizys, with their traditional dialect names in brackets below, are available to hire on an hourly, half day or full day basis from:

Hazel Bank Country House, Borrowdale (Yan)

Castlerigg Hall Caravan & Camping Park, Keswick (Tyan)

Keswick Brewing Company (Tethera)

FSC Blencathra Centre, Threlkeld (Methera and Pip)

The Quiet Site, Watermillock (Sethera and Lethera)

Hillcroft Park, Pooley Bridge (Dovera)

Waterfoot Park, Pooley Bridge (Hovera)

Wayfarers Independent Hostel, Penrith (Dec)