Fill her up - with a few gallons of fresh air

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The Independent Online
It may looka little old-fashioned, but this Citroen 2CV is in fact one of the most modern vehicles of the 20th century. The electronic car is a specially adapted vehicle which can be charged up by the wind.

It is currently touring Cornwall in what is believed to be the first practical demonstration in the country of pollution-free motoring .

The Engel-Burger family (right), from Germany, which owns the car and has come to Britain on a touring holiday, wanted to demonstrate how to travel by car without damaging the environment.

Powered by nine batteries, they drove to Delabole wind farm, Cornwall, to charge the car overnight from one of the 10 400k turbines before travelling up to 60 miles a day, visiting places of interest in Cornwall.

The Delabole wind farm, which was the first in the country, came on-line in 1991 and now produces 10 million KWh per year.

Peter Edwards, managing director of Windelectric, the operator of the farm, said: "Our turbines are small by modern standards. The newest, being installed on the continent, are 1.5MW, nearly four times as powerful.

"With turbines being constructed alongside German autobahns, wind turbines could become an increasingly common sight as we find a solution to emission free motoring."

Nick Goodall, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association, said: "With the UK the windiest country in Europe, the prospect of being able to enjoy the car without the guilt of pollution is looking very good.

"However, if we don't see planning consent granted for wind farms, the prospects for zero emissions will take a giant step backwards."

There are around 40 wind farms in Britain, most of which are in relatively remote areas.

However, despite the claims that wind power is the most environmentally friendly way to produce energy, many environmentalists have complained that the sight of the ugly turbines across the horizon is equally damaging to the landscape.

Photograph: Paul Slater

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