b-bugs for hire in 2012 ? – latest progress

As close followers of the b-bug project know, we have been trying to find ways to take the b-bugs from a free research trial of just 2 vehicles in 2011 to a viable b-bug rental scheme for the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The biggest hurdle to date has been finding self-drive hire insurance for the buggies.  We have discovered that most insurance brokers avoid self-drive hire insurance (for any kind of vehicle) and an even tinier number of brokers recognise the concept of a road-legal electric buggy! The latter is not so surprising given that the b-bugs are currently unique vehicles. We are delighted to report that  Zurich Municipal has come to our rescue and  Jon Taylor has been enormously helpful in finding a solution for us that we now need to work within.

We are now exploring the formation of a not-for-profit b-bug co-operative (“BBC”) whose aim will be to promote sustainable tourism travel in our National Park.

The BBC will manage a group insurance and maintenance policy for a small fleet of b-bugs (in Year 1) which will be manufactured and maintained by Dragon Electric Vehicles.  The idea is that individual tourist businesses in our area can opt to join the co-operative and effectively lease a b-bug to host and use themselves, to “livery up” (if they choose) to promote their business and eco-credentials and (obviously) to rent out to their customers to cover (hopefully) their leasing costs.

We’d see how this worked in Year 1 (2012) with a view to  expanding the scheme if it is successful.

We are confident that we will be able to re-activate and  expand our informal electric charge point network of local pubs, cafes, attractions and activity centres. The b-bugs only need a 13amp socket and a full re-charge costs abut 40p of electricity. Last summer, the b-bug charge points benefited from becoming interesting destinations in their own right for the b-buggers.

If you are a tourist business based in this area and think you might like to be involved in 2012, do get in touch with us.

About Alison Kidd

Research Psychologist
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2 Responses to b-bugs for hire in 2012 ? – latest progress

  1. Stephen Potts says:

    It is a shame that they are limited to Brecon only.

    Could one be used in Chigwell Essex prior to the Holiday Season?

    • Prospector says:

      Hi Stephen,

      I’m afraid the free b-bug trial is now over. You can purchase your own b-bug from Dragon Electric Vehicles at any time or come and try one of their vehicles for a test drive.

      If the proposed b-bug co-operative scheme gets up and running, you might be able to rent one for a period of time but you would have to factor in the daily rental fee plus the added cost of it being transported by trailer to Chigwell and back (400 mile round trip) which would make it an expensive option.

      Nope, your only option is a delightful break in the Brecon Beacons!

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