A Green Way to Go

A Green Way to Go

LAST UPDATED: 17 September, 2010 @ 5:35 am
Electric hearse

Electric hearseIT may not be the final nail in the coffin for greenhouse gas emitting vehicles, but Granada has become the first city in Europe to use eco-friendly hearses.

With a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour, the electric carrier emits no carbon dioxide and is powered by a battery, which is plugged into the national grid and recharged every night.

Officials from the San José cemetery decided on the green, pioneering method to transport the dead in an effort to preserve the planet. And José Antonio Muñoz – the director of Emucesa, the company which manages the city’s San José cemetery – added that other burial grounds around Spain have taken note.

“We are not only the first cemetery in Spain to use CO2-free, electric hearses to carry coffins, but we are the first in Europe. In one city in Romania, the dead are brought into the cemetery on the back of an electric golf cart while in Tarrasa, Catalunya, they use a trailer pulled by a low CO2 emitting car.

“We have had other cemeteries contact us and ask what the hearses are like. We tell them they are fantastic,” he said.

It seems for city officials, however, the clean, green, coffin-carrying machines are only being used for the comfort of mourners.

“Our top priority was to stop people from breathing in pollution during funerals,” explained Granada mayor, José Torres Hurtado.

Each of the environmentally friendly vehicles, built by Bergadana Solutions in Barcelona, cost 34,000 euros – the same price as a more traditional, diesel-powered hearse.

“It may be expensive, but at least we are doing our bit to save the environment,” Muñoz added.