With Britons consuming vast amounts of their products to keep cool in the heatwave, ice cream makers are ringing up record sales. But for Exmoor-based farmhouse producer David Baker the wall-to-wall sunshine is proving a double bonus – because he’s just rolled out the UK’s first-ever solar-powered ice cream van. His prototype vehicle has taken to the road after more than a year’s design and construction and it’s already trading at outdoor events, running silently with none of the usual incessant drone of a diesel engine – or its fumes. Now David, owner of Styles Farmhouse Ice Cream, based in Rodhuish, near Minehead, is in the process of patenting the design and is planning a £1 million investment to replace his entire fleet of 11 vans with clean-energy versions. The new van’s roof-mounted solar panels charge a bank of batteries to keep the freezers, fridges and internal lighting running, the system only switching automatically to a back-up LPG generator as a last resort, David explained.
Bridgwater Mercury 9th Aug 2018 read more »