Electric cars on Scottish island can now be powered entirely by the sea

After more than five years of powering local homes and businesses, tidal energy turbines in the Shetland Islands of Scotland are now charging electric vehicles.

Car owners living on the island of Yell can now charge their vehicles using sea-generated energy harvested by Nova Innovation’s tidal turbines — large, revolving machines anchored to the seafloor.

“We now have the reality of tidal powered cars, which demonstrates the huge steps forward we are making in tackling the climate emergency and achieving net-zero by working in harmony with our natural environment,” said Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation whose technology is a first in the UK.

As a country home to many islands and tidal currents, it’s no surprise that Scotland has pioneered several different tidal energy technologies. The country is also at the forefront of the green energy revolution, having managed to supply an impressive 97 percent of its 2020 electricity demand with renewables.

Locals living on Yell have welcomed the latest charging points from Nova Innovation. “[It] is exciting to have this on my doorstep… Most people in Shetland live close to the sea — to be able to harness the power of the tide in this way is a great way to use this resource,” said Fiona Nicholson, a local EV owner.

The end goal is to reduce the dependence on traditional combustion engine vehicles, which are responsible for about 20 percent of the UK’s total carbon footprint. Equipped with the world’s largest tidal energy farm and boasting the world’s biggest tidal array of underwater turbines, Scotland will definitely play a major role in helping the UK move towards a post-carbon future.

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