Six electric vehicles, including five cars and a van, have arrived in Dundee this week as part of the city’s car sharing club run by the UK’s largest car club operator, Co-wheels. The innovative scheme gives local residents flexible access to a fleet of ultra-low emission cars on an affordable ‘pay-as-you-drive’ basis.
Parked in dedicated bays in convenient locations across the city, the cars are available for club members to book online and access with a smartcard – without the need to pick up keys. The vehicles represent an investment of over £100,000 in a fast-growing social enterprise which is expanding in several Scottish cities and towns.
Richard Falconer, operations director of Co-wheels said: “The deployment of such a large fleet of electric cars is an exciting development for us. We have opted for electric and hybrid vehicles to help improve the city’s environmental credentials by improving air quality and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
“Initial interest in the Co-wheels car sharing scheme has been fantastic,” he continued. “People love the flexibility of being able to book a car for a short journey or a longer one at an affordable price with none of the hassle of car ownership or having to pick up keys from a hire company’s offices. They can simply jump into a car from a city centre car bay and be on the move straight away.
“Our car clubs offer the option of occasional car use without the responsibility of car ownership, they reduce the number of cars on the road and cut down on our carbon footprint which can only be good news.”
Councillor Will Dawson, City Development convener at Dundee City Council, welcomed the arrival of the new electric vehicles – six small Renault Zoe cars and one small panel Nissan e-NV200 van.
“I am delighted that more Co-wheels vehicles are coming to Dundee,” he said. “Car clubs provide a money-saving alternative to car ownership for occasional use, but they are also helping to cut down on our carbon footprint.”
The new vehicles, which take the Dundee fleet up to 12, are located at: Nethergate, opposite the University of Dundee; South Tay Street; Dock Street; Trades Lane, opposite the bus station; Abertay University; and Queen Street car Park, Broughty Ferry. The van, which is parked in the Trades Lane bay, is expected to be popular with small businesses in the city centre area which require the use of a bigger vehicle only occasionally or for short periods. It is also ideal for people moving house.
Membership of the Dundee car sharing scheme is open to anyone who has held a driving licence for more than a year. A one-off fee enables access to all local vehicles, in addition to the national Co-wheels fleet in locations across the UK. Residents can find out more and receive £20 free driving credit by visiting www.co-wheels.org.uk/dundee