ECOTRICITY is rat-proofing its electric car recharging points after rodents were found to have chewed through the wiring.
Dale Vince, founder of the Stroud based green energy company, said that the issue had been caused by recent heavy rains, which have driven rodents above ground where they have sought out warm places, not far from fast food outlets.
Commenting on Facebook, he said: “For all the predictions of the changes the Climate Crisis will bring – here’s an unexpected one.
“Recent heavy rains, which seem to be the new normal now – are driving Britain’s rat population (estimated by some at 120m) above ground, seeking warmer and drier places to live.
“The Sun have run a piece saying people’s homes are at risk, Prof Richard Ashley from Sheffield Uni says not so.
“But we’ve seen an impact of this – somewhere surprising – on the Electric Highway.”
Mr Vince said that five of the firm’s pumps have stopped working since October last year.
“They have just stopped working (for no reason we could see by remote monitoring) and when we’ve examined them we’ve found nesting rats and or severely chewed wiring (some of the internal’s have been destroyed to the extent the pumps are write offs) – these pumps are nice warm places and not far from fast food outlets – which the Prof identifies as favourite feeding grounds for rats.
“It’s not a geographically isolated event either, it’s pretty much from Liverpool to London.
“We’re taking steps now to rat proof the rest of our pumps, and new ones we’re rolling out.
“It’s another climate irony – increased rain, driving rats to seek new homes and killing EV pumps in the process.
“If you made it up in a novel or something it would sound a bit of a stretch. But it’s our reality. What next?”