Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis drives a Nissan Leaf (when not on his tractor)

June 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Not long to go till Glastonbury Festival (22nd-26th June) and here’s a happy-camping story: festival founder – and music-lovers’ favourite farmer – Michael Eavis has taken delivery of a Nissan Leaf for a year’s trial. He told Nissan Insider after his first drive: “All electric and so quiet, it’s a real joy to drive. Driving through the Levels yesterday I could even hear the mating call of the bittern. Just two pounds to fill the tank from a 13 amp plug socket and that will take you 100 miles. I think we’re turning the corner on fossil fuels to a future of travel on carbon-free energy.”

Eavis – who also runs a fleet of biodiesel-fuelled tractors – is powering his Leaf from a 1500 square-metre bank of 1,100 photovoltaic cells on the roof of his ‘Mootel’ cowshed, according to a Glastonbury spokesperson. This is the largest privately-installed solar array in the UK; it provides 80% of the farm’s all-year electricity needs and excess power generated is exported back to the grid. It can produce enough electricity to power 65 houses, the farm and the cowshed, though understandably, not enough for the extra demands at festival-time: “festival logistics are completely different – we’re running a city the size of Bath or Oxford!” says one of the team.

There aren’t other ‘in-house’ EVs working on-site at Glastonbury as infrastructure/support vehicles or aiding the build process, apparently, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the external crews bring their own in – I’ve seen battery-converted pick-up trucks and rebodied milk floats on litter-collecting and recycling duties at smaller festivals, certainly. Anyone on-site seen any yet? There could well be a few working around the Green Fields area (wind and solar generators) or Theatre, Circus and Shangri-La areas (some solar) in particular. Pray for sunshine, everyone.

(Pic: Eavis with the Left Field Tower sculpture, 2007, copyright  Glastonbury Left Field, on Flickr, under CC licence).


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