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Bruichladdich Distillery Becomes Self-sufficient with Electric Car Powered on Pot Ale

The Bruichladdich whisky distillery, located on the remote Scottish island of Islay, has taken the final step in its bid to become self-sufficient with the purchase of a Nissan LEAF.

The all-electric car will be charged using self-generated electricity, enabling the distillery to be self-sufficient following the decision by Mark Reynier, the business owner, to install a ‘Biowayste’ system earlier this year.

The Biowayste process turns ‘pot ale’, a waste product left over after distilling, into biogas by anaerobic digestion, which then powers a generator to produce electricity for the distillery.

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.”

The Nissan LEAF’s battery will be charged using the distillery’s electricity allowing carbon-free motoring on the 230-square mile island of Islay (pronounced ‘eye-la’), which is home to eight distilleries producing a distinctive smoky whisky. The car has a range of up to 110 miles, which should prove ample to travel the length and breadth of the small island on one charge.

“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 130-year old Hebridean distillery has a record of innovation first bringing electricity to the island in 1881, alongside whisky-making equipment that was so advanced for its time it is still in use today. The distillery also allows local farmers to take ‘draff’ (spent barley) to feed their cattle, whose slurry is spread on fields growing the distillery’s barley.

To celebrate the role played by the LEAF, Nissan and Bruichladdich have produced a limited run of bespoke, LEAF-labelled organic whisky.

About Carlton Boyce

Carlton Boyce
Carlton Boyce is a freelance journalist and photographer covering all aspects of the motoring industry.

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