Jane and Paul are the proud owners of Spoot the electric camper, who can provide you with an eco-friendly trip around the beautiful area of Orkney in Scotland. They have kindly shared with us the story of their family run business, JP Orkney, and what their customers can expect when hiring Spoot for their next adventure.
If you're ready for your Orkney adventure, check out Spoot on their website!
How did JP Orkney begin?
JP Orkney was started in 2017 by my partner and I (Jane and Paul is the JP). We started a hospitality business with a focus on allowing guests to enjoy Orkney whilst making as little impact as possible. We identified electric vehicles as a gap in the market and as a way to reduce our impact on the environment. Our first EV (Electric Vehicle) was a Nissan ENV200 which we use to deliver tours of Orkney. We had our second Nissan ENV200 converted into our all-electric camper for hire, 'Spoot'.
How has your business grown since it started and what have you got planned for the future?
We began our business by delivering food and drink tours of Orkney, where our guests could learn more about the local produce and businesses that we have on the island. Shortly after, we started renting out our all-electric camper van. The business has steadily grown and Spoot has been at the centre of attention, being recognised more and more often. One of the things we started to do was to make gift bags to include on tours and provide for guests in the campervan. This part of the business has really grown over the past year and we now sell our produce all around the UK!
What was your motivation for converting Spoot into an electric camper?
When we had the conversion done there was no one in the UK renting out an all-electric campervan. To date and as far as we are aware we are the only company in all of Scotland renting out an all-electric camper van, which allows us to offer our customers a unique (and sustainable!) campervan experience.
What makes Orkney a great place for customers to hire Spoot?
Orkney is a magical place with some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of the UK, positioned off the north-eastern coast of Scotland. It's an archipelago of around 70 islands, and encompasses a treasure trove of marine life, sand swept beaches and rugged landscapes. We are based on the largest island, which is called “Mainland”, and there is so much to see and do on our island alone. However, if you want to visit some of the other islands that make up Orkney, Spoot is a really practical way to do this. He can travel with you on the ferry and get you around really easily. When you're turning in for the night he'll make for a comfy night's sleep too!@boudreaux via Twenty20
What type of customers hire out Spoot?
Spoot sleeps two people so it tends to be couples or single travellers that rent him out. That being said, we have had a few couples with babies and small children who still find him big enough!
What attracts customers to Spoot?
The first thing that attracts customers to hire Spoot is the fact that he is a unique vehicle. People are becoming increasingly conscious of their carbon footprint, so Spoot is a brilliant option for their camper holiday as he is an electric vehicle. It's lovely to be able to offer people a sustainable way to travel, especially in such a beautiful area of the world. The other allure of Spoot is Orkney itself! As I mentioned, our location is just as unique as Spoot, and our customers find him a brilliant way to discover the "Mainland" and beyond.
How does the experience in an electric camper differ from a normal campervan for customers?
What people are often surprised about is the difference the silence of an electric vehicle makes. When they are exploring the local scenery, they can find peace like they've never experienced before! The vehicle is also automatic so it’s a really easy drive, and the fuel costs won't put a dent in their spending money. We include all refuelling with a fully loaded charge card in the vehicle (Orkney has over 30 charge points on the island and Spoot can travel around 120 miles so range isn’t an issue).
What amenities and accessories does Spoot have that make him ideal for renting out?
As mentioned, the vehicle costs are inclusive of fuel so there are no extra bills at the end or during your stay. There is also some clever technology on board which allows you to charge the vehicle overnight at campsites. If you stay at Wheems in Orkney you are being truly green as all their electricity comes from wind turbines. There are solar panels and the leisure battery is regenerative so things like the fridge-freezer and lighting won't affect Spoot's range.
How do you plan on welcoming your guests?
As a fully accredited and qualified member of the Scottish and Orkney tourist guide association we are always able to help our customers see the best of Orkney. We can help them find the best places to eat and recommend campsites and attractions for their journey. Even better than that we include some of our award-winning produce in every hire of the vehicle. We hope you enjoy it!
You won’t just be sharing your campervan with the renters but you’ll also be passing along your own experience and knowledge. Do you have any top tips for a renter’s first campervan holiday?
The good thing about Orkney is you are never far away so if there's ever an issue we are always on hand. This means once you're behind the wheel it truly is time to relax and enjoy everything Orkney has to offer. There's so much to see and do in Orkney and Spoot really allows you to do this. We’re a little bit biased as we live here but if there's one place you must visit is Birsay. It’s the most North Westerly inhabited place in the UK and is truly a sight to see.
Barony Mill, jporkney.co.uk
From your past experience, can you recommend any road trips, campsites or places of interest that your customers would love to visit?
All the campsites in Orkney have the most stunning views and offer different appeals for you and your trip. You can see the entrance to Scapa Flow whilst enjoying a cup of tea at Stromness Campsite, take in the wild Atlantic from Birsay Campsite and be completely green at Wheems campsite. All the roads in Orkney lead to special treats. One of our most recent trips was catching the ferry to Hoy, which in Viking means "high island", and is Orkney's second largest island. When you get off the ferry drive to Rackwick Bay and you won't be disappointed.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Whilst visiting Orkney try keep an eye out for JP Orkney produce on some of the high-street delis or the visitor centres at a number of Neolithic sites. If you can't find them then head over the Birsay and visit our “Little Yellow Hut”.