EXCITED villagers turned out in force for the official unveiling of their new electric car.

Hoardes of residents attended the launch of the Nissan Leaf in Ashton Hayes on Sunday, where they were joined by the Lord Mayor of Chester, Eleanor Johnson, and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Newton.

The village is one of the first places in the country to have its own eco-friendly car and residents over the age of 18 will be able to rent it out for journeys of up to 100 miles.

Villagers are already queuing up to join the newly-launched car club so they can take the vehicle out for a ride for just £4.25 an hour.

The car will be housed at the village’s new solar panelled sports pavilion, where it will be able to re-charge itself regularly.

Garry Charnock, who has worked for the past six years on the Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project, said: “The launch was a huge success. The turnout was excellent.

“There were lots of young people there as well and they buried a time capsule with a lovely letter that they had written to the children of the future, telling them what it was we were doing.

“The idea is that by the time the letter is found the car will probably be in a museum!”

The car’s arrival comes after a £200,000 grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which was awarded to the village under the Low Carbon Communities Challenge earlier this year.

The grant not only paid for the cost of the car but also funded the sports pavilion.

Carmella De Lucia