E-Car Club offers UK-first EV sharing scheme
E-Car Club launches with a fleet of four cars, based in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. These will be made available to staff at the scheme's partner, social landlord Poplar Harca, to visit its 9,000 properties in the area, but are also available for residents and businesses to book online for an hour or more.
The launch follows trials of five vehicles in Luton and Milton Keynes over the last 12 months, and has ambitions for a nationwide roll-out. By mid November, E-Car Club will have 20 vehicles in operation, located in London, Oxford, Hatfield and Hemel Hempstead, set to grow to 100 through 2014 predominantly in the South East. All schemes will be run in partnership with local authorities, councils and businesses, and the Renault ZOE will account for a large share of the fleet.
Vehicles are parked in dedicated bays with charging points, and though co-founder and development director Christopher Morris believes these will account for most charging, each car is supplied with a range of cables to suit different connections and a membership card for the local infrastructure scheme to minimise range anxiety. E-Car is able to monitor battery charge via the vehicles' telematics system, and advise drivers when they are running low on range.
'We want to improve mobility on a local level whilst simultaneously reducing both the cost and environmental impact of each journey taken,' said Morris. 'We expect this to be the first of many such schemes and look forward to launching hubs across London and the South East in 2014.'