The UK’s first entirely electric pay-per-use car club, E-Car Club, have launched a service at the University of Hertfordshire, using several Renault electric vehicles, in partnership with Source East and University of Hertfordshire.
One of the first schemes of its kind, it aims to improve mobility on a local level, whilst simultaneously reducing both the cost and environmental impact of each journey taken. E-Car will provide staff, students and members of the community with the convenience and flexibility of full-sized electric cars without the cost of owning one.
In the first instance, there will be three 100 per cent electric Renaults, two ZOE superminis and a Fluence Z.E. saloon, available for hire by the hour. Each vehicle has its own specially designated parking space and electric charging point at the de Havilland and College Lane Campus provided by Source East. The range of the Renault ZOE when fully charged is officially 130 miles, in the real world around 64 to 92 miles, which makes it perfect for regional journeys.
Anyone can become a member of the University of Hertfordshire E-Car Club and hire an E-Car for just £5.50 per hour. Members can book the vehicle by phone or online and the E-Car can be reserved for as little as an hour, or, as long as several days. Each member is provided with a smart card and secure code with which to access the electric car as well as E-Car Club cars across the UK.
The scheme should provide a low cost, low carbon, hassle free alternative to using your own car. E-Car takes care of everything; insurance, maintenance, cleaning and tax. Plus, members can join from 19 years of age.
Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, recently commented: “It’s inspiring to see a business like E-Car Club, which was only set up a couple of years ago, doing so much to promote ultra-low emission vehicles… E-Car Club is a scheme that kills three birds with one stone – congestion, cost and carbon.”
Car clubs have lots of benefits for communities and individuals, by taking cars out of circulation, reducing pressure on parking, making savings for families, reducing overall car use, and encouraging active travel.
Dr. Stephen Boffey, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Regional Affairs at the University of Hertfordshire, said:
“The University is always looking at ways to improve the travel choices for staff, students and the local community and we are proud to be the first university to launch an electric car club. We hope that by offering access to a low carbon form of transport, we can work together to reduce the cost and environmental impact of each journey undertaken.”
Chris Morris (Co-founder, E-Car Club) commented, “The E-Car team and I are delighted to be launching this scheme in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and Source East.”
“A first for the UK, we’re confident the programme will not only reduce transport emissions and costs for UH faculty, but provide a convenient, flexible and affordable transport option for University students as young as 19.”
“Starting with 3 cars available to hire by the hour across 2 campuses, we’re ready to increase the number of vehicles quickly as demand dictates. With hourly rates of only £5.50 and cars available 24/7, 365 days a year, we’re expecting the scheme to prove popular with a wide variety of users.”