Somerset farmer builds own solar-powered ice cream van

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Styles ice-cream van
Farmer David Baker (r) and sales manager Mate Maroda aim to build 100 solar powered vans

A farmer is building solar-powered ice cream vans to make the industry less reliant on diesel generators.

David Baker, of Styles Farm near Minehead, came up with the idea after customers were concerned about the diesel fumes from its regular vans.

The solar panels power the freezers, ice-cream makers, and coffee machines.

One of the prototypes ran for four days on solar power at last year’s Glastonbury Festival.

£4,000 diesel bill

Mr Baker, said: “We had to rebuild from scratch. You have the solar panels on the top then a big bank of batteries inside.”

“Electric vans aren’t ready yet. As soon as they are, this is designed so the equipment can go straight on to an electric van. 

The ice cream company attends 160 shows over five months every year, and the vans can also produce up to 500 ice creams an hour as a traditional van would.

“This year, we might be able to do the whole of Glastonbury and not have to have any power,” said Mr Baker.

“In the past, the diesel engines would use £4,000 of diesel a year and we will be able to save all that fuel by this system.

“On a nice day we are generating 2.4 kilowatts so we’re matching what we’re using. Often we come back from shows with full batteries.”

Source: BCC News