Car dealership is in gear for a greener future

By Gill Harris on October 16, 2018

Everybody knows the lifespan of petrol and diesel cars is reaching an end – and Swindon Hyundai dealership Pebley Beach says customers are embracing the change.

By 2040, traditional fuel cars will be illegal in the UK, and Dominic Threlfall, managing director of Pebley Beach, says while customers are getting firmly behind the electric car, it is hydrogen that will be navigating the road to a greener future.

The Business Exchange spoke to Dominic as part of the Government’s first annual Green GB Week, which aims to highlight best practice and encourage innovation when it comes to an environmentally-friendly approach to business.

Dominic said: “Electric cars are everywhere at the moment and everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon, getting them into stock and selling quite a few of them because we can deliver them now – the manufacturers are producing them now.

“However, they aren’t necessarily the most environmentally-friendly cars because, cradle to grave, manufacturing these great big batteries, which only hold a 100 per cent capacity of charge for a small period of time and which then have to be disposed of and replaced, is actually very harmful to the planet. But it is a stop-gap. Also, we need to consider whether we can actually deliver enough electricity in the grid to cope. If everyone in your street had electric cars and plugged them in at the same time, the lights would go!

“But hydrogen is a different kettle of fish because you could have a windmill on the side of the road with a tank and through electrolysis it’s creating hydrogen – so it’s constantly filling the tank up, so you just go and fill your car up like you do at any petrol station. You take your few kilos of hydrogen out of the tank, do your 300 or 400 miles and in the meantime the hydrogen station is filling up again.”

Currently Pebley Beach has the recently-launched EV (electric vehicle) Hyundai Kona, one of the first cars to do 300 miles on a single battery charge. Even so, a fast charge will only get you a further 80 or 90 miles while a full charge will take five or six hours. Meanwhile, hydrogen works like the petrol pump we’re all so familiar with – it takes a couple of minutes to fill up and you’re back on the road.

And Swindon is ahead of the curve when it comes to this new zero-emissions technology, with two working hydrogen stations – one at the Honda factory and one at J16 of the M4.

Now Pebley Beach is gearing up for the arrival of the new Hyundai Nexo this December, a purpose-built fully hydrogen car.

Pictured above: Pebley Beach MD Dominic Threlfall and Sylvie Childs, senior product manager at Hyundai