The UK’s first fully electric hearse, based on the Tesla Model S, has hit the roads of the British county of Hampshire to let mourners pay their final respects not just in style, but in the most sustainable manner.
The electric hearse, called the ‘Wisper’ (sic), produces zero emissions and will operate across almost 60 funeral branches run by the Portsmouth-based company Southern Co-op. The catafalque is reportedly being recharged at its sites using electricity from renewable sources. The service vehicle, measuring around 5.8 meters [19 feet] in length, boasts a 220-mile [354 kilometers] single-charge range capability.
“There is only one other existing electric hearse in the UK which is much more compact so we hope this will offer people an elegant alternative which echoes a more traditional appearance,” Steve Pearce, chief operating officer for Southern Co-op, said.
The ‘Wisper’ hearse is not the Southern Co-op’s only attempt at bringing peace and eco-friendly solutions into the funeral business. The firm also took two new hybrid Mercedes E-Class Limousines and two new converted E-class Mercedes hybrid hearses.
“It’s important that we all work together to tackle climate change, so we are delighted to now be able to offer our customers the choice of a more environmentally favourable funeral fleet and to take the next step on our sustainability journey together,” Mark Smith, chief executive at the end of life services, said.
The first Tesla converted into a hearse appeared in the Netherlands back in 2016. After removing the vehicle’s large battery, Dutch coach-builder Remetzcar sawed the aluminum body in half, stretched the wheelbase, and added an all-glass rear section and roof for a clean look.
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