Former pupil lends old school car of the future

Sibford pupils are pictured with Dean Woods, Peter Robinson and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Sibford pupils are pictured with Dean Woods, Peter Robinson and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2015 has seen a four-fold increase in the demand for ultra-low emission vehicles*, and now pupils at an Oxfordshire school are being given the opportunity to see for themselves the game-changing technology and environmental impact of hybrid vehicles … thanks to an old scholar.

Sibford School near Banbury has been lent a top selling plug-in hybrid SUV by Dean Wood, the dealer principal of Mitsubishi dealership, Firs Garage in Hook Norton.

Dean was a pupil at the school in the 1970s and still remembers the school motto ‘Truth and Honour, Freedom and Courtesy’ … an ethos that remains core to his business today.

Keen to give something back to his old school, Dean agreed to lend the school a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

“The Outlander PHEV is the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV and has really made the motor industry sit up and take notice,” he said. “It’s brimful of the technology of the future, so it makes perfect sense that students learn about it.

“The Oxfordshire/Northants area is famous for its strengths in vehicle manufacturing, research and development, Formula 1, and motor sport engineering, so I’m delighted to be able to do this for Sibford School and hopefully inspire the students to learn more about technology, engineering and environmental issues.

“I always remember Sibford as being a forward-thinking school, which it still is today, and I’m sure the students will get a huge amount out of being able to investigate the car and its properties.”

Year 7 and 8 pupils, assisted by sixth form students, are using the Outlander as the focus of their lunchtime science club.

Teacher Felicity Dyndor said: “The club will be researching the vehicle, looking at how it runs … especially in EV mode … and considering the impact that the reduced emissions will have.”

Sibford School will have the Outlander PHEV for a prolonged period, during which time it will also be used to promote the green credentials of the school and to supplement the school’s transport pool.

In addition, pupils are to be invited to the Firs dealership to learn more about both the Outlander and career opportunities in mechanics, engineering and the motor industry.

Peter Robinson, the school’s Business Manager said: “We are very grateful to Dean and Firs Garage for the loan of the Outlander. It has really captured the imagination of the students and also created considerable interest amongst our parents, so much so, that we have now installed an EV charging point on the school campus.”

* Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a steady 2.4% growth in the UK new car market, accompanied by a strong surge in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). 11,842 ULEVs were registered between January and May – a four-fold rise on the 2,838 registrations in the same period last year. The growth is further evidence of UK car buyers’ increasing awareness of the significant benefits of driving a ULEV, as they look to reduce their running costs and environmental impact. Motorists can now choose from a diverse range of around 20 ULEVs, compared to just six in 2011.

Firs Garage, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire

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