To most people, electric vehicles are a choice. An option where the pros and cons make the decision as to whether they’re right or wrong for their life style. For others, an EV isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. I’m talking, of course, about mobility scooters.
As a race marshal at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Steve Tarrant was left fighting for his life when a 1969 Lotus F1 car crashed into him after it destroyed hay-bales and the actual finish line post of the famous hill climb at top speed. The driver, John Dawson-Damer and another marshal, Andy Carpenter, tragically lost their lives instantly. Steve was left with severe internal injuries, a shattered left leg and no right leg. Against all odds he survived this horrific ordeal, which he attributes both to surgeons and the support of his friends and family.
Moving on a decade, Steve, from Poole in Dorset, purchased his first mobility scooter in 2011. He enjoyed it so much that he took the trouble to write to the manufacturer praising the vehicle. The manufacturer, TGA, responded with a challenge; how far could their mobility scooter be driven over a period of 24 hours? Suddenly, the mobility scooter was a vehicle full of possibility rather than a means to get around.
In June 2012, Tarrant attempted to break the then world record of around 150 miles and succeeded, overtaking the distance by some 20 miles, only to have the victory taken away due to a technicality. Deciding to go for a second attempt, his new aim was to smash the official record and his own unofficial one of 170 miles and break 200 miles in 24 hours.
On May 17th to 18th 2014, armed with his trusty TGA Breeze S4 GT, Steve took his position at a small cordoned off area of Goodwood Motor Circuit and stepped on the ‘go’ pedal. After a gruelling 24 hours fuelled by coffee during battery swaps and pure determination, Steve finally came to a euphoric end having successfully completed what he set out to do – obtain the world record. Steve managed an impressive 190 miles in 24 hours, on a vehicle with a top speed of just 10 mph meaning he averaged nearly 8 mph yet this time includes stops for battery swapping too.
Steve is an inspiration to us all, able and disabled, and is a worthy World Record Holder. Well done Steve Tarrant!