Nissan’s 100% electric LEAF has provided the crucial last element in an innovative business owner’s attempts to become entirely self-sufficient on the remote Hebridean island of Islay.
The award-winning 130-year old Bruichladdich whisky distillery has established a pioneering Biowayste system allowing it to generate its own electricity by using the waste products from the distilling process.
Business Owner, Mark Reynier, started using the system, in which electricity is generated by biogas formed by a process called anaerobic digestion, earlier this year.
Now he has also taken delivery of a Nissan LEAF, the reigning European and World Car of the Year, meaning that he can also drive completely carbon-free, charging his car using the electricity produced by the distillery.
To celebrate the role played by the LEAF, Nissan and Bruichladdich have produced a limited run of bespoke, LEAF-labelled organic whisky.
Mr Reynier has already been hugely impressed by the car: “The LEAF is fantastic to drive. It was frustrating to be making such strides in being self-sufficient, when my car still needed the most expensive diesel in the UK from the mainland. The arrival of the LEAF has allowed me to be as truly self-sufficient as possible.”
The Bruichladdich whisky distillery has long been a source of innovation. Built in 1881 by three pioneering brothers, its arrival first brought electricity to the 230 square-mile island. Its ingenious Victorian design was so ahead of its time, the same machinery is still used to this day to make whisky.
Today, the distillery’s waste streams are all ploughed back into powering and producing for the business.
Draff (spent barley) is taken by local island farmers to feed cows, whose slurry is spread on fields growing the distillery’s barley.
Meanwhile pot ale, the watery waste product left over after distilling, is converted into biogas which powers a generator to produce electricity for the distillery. During the process, called anaerobic digestion, bespoke microbes digest the ‘pot ale’ to produce large quantities of high-quality biogas.
Mr Reynier said: “We are not eco-warriors but we wanted to see how we could do our part. Most schemes along these lines are hare-brained and have little commercial merit, but this one does. Though the technology has existed since 1860, only now is it economically viable on this small scale.
“With the addition of the LEAF, we’re happy in the knowledge that we’re doing everything we can, whether growing barley here on the island, organically and biodynamically, to be environmentally sympathetic both in our work and home life.”
James Douglas, Nissan’s Corporate Sales Director, said: “Mr Reynier’s case goes to prove that sustainable motoring is a very realistic proposition. He is one of the many businessmen discovering that the Nissan LEAF can bring very real financial benefits to his company.”
Bruichladdich is the only producer of organic whisky on Islay, which is home to no fewer than eight malt whisky distilleries, and recently distilled the first ever biodynamic whisky.
The Nissan LEAF is similarly trail-blazing in its innovative use of green technology. Featuring a range between charges of up to 110 miles, the family hatchback is powered by an in-house developed compact electric motor and inverter in the front of the car which drives the front wheels.
The AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 90mph.
Nissan LEAF comes fully equipped with features such as climate control, satellite navigation, rear-view parking camera, a quick charge socket and innovative smart-phone connectivity.
It is also the first all-electric vehicle to be awarded the highest five star safety rating by the independent EuroNCAP organisation.
For more information about the Bruichladdich whisky distillery, visit www.bruichladdich.com