has a new mini electric car club with three rental companies cooperating with regional councils to offer pay-per-use EVs. 14 new electric vehicles will be made available for people to hire on an hourly or daily basis to start with.
The initiative involves, , Cherwell, South shire, Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire district councils. The local authorities have partnered with car club providers Co Wheels, CarClub, and .
Fourteen locations have been determined, serving as a base for one electric car each. While not being said, this indicates a non-free-floating service, where drivers must return the vehicles to the point of origin (or other designated parking). The selected council-owned car parks offer park and charge. Most vehicles are new EVs with a range of between 150 – 250 miles each, but more information is lacking.
To use new vehicles, car club membership is required, and residents living near the new EV car club locations should look out for promotional codes giving them free or discounted membership, so the councils. Members can then hire car club vehicles in the scheme from as little as £5.95 per hour, including insurance, plus 12p per mile.
The partners estimate that, on average, a successful car club vehicle could take 20 privately owned cars off the road.
The pilot project will be initially run for twelve months to assess the demand for this type of service across Oxfordshire, the partners inform.
At the same time, Oxford has experience running car clubs and uses the new scheme to expand the model to include county locations. Richard Falconer from Co Wheels said they had seen growing demand, especially for shared electric vehicles in Oxford City, “as people realise that owning a car can damage your wallet as well as the environment”.
Jenny Figueiredo, Oxfordshire County Council’s EV Charging Project Manager, added that pay-per-use car sharing schemes “make it possible for people to consider giving up their own cars or second cars, and also to be more conscious of making an active decision about every journey they make”.
Oxford City launched the’s first complete ‘Zero Emission Zone’ (ZEZ), which means daily charges on drivers of all petrol and diesel vehicles and hybrid cars, in May 2022. The county is also home to BMW’s Mini factory.
According to our archive, Co-Wheels has been around since 2015, offering low-emission cars to communities across the UK.
Going beyond the city, the pilot project aims to inform longer-term plans for potential EV car club rollout across the county.
The electric vehicles for hire in Oxfordshire are based in these locations:
- Cattle Market car park, Bicester (Enterprise CarClub)
- Claremont car park, Bicester (Enterprise CarClub)
- Calthorpe Street West car park, Banbury (Co Wheels)
- Windsor Street car park, Banbury (Co Wheels)
- Curtis Place car park, Kidlington (Enterprise CarClub)
- Woodford Way car park, Witney (Co Wheels)
- Back Lane car park, Eynsham (Co Wheels)
- Southern Road car park, Thame (Thame EV Car Hire)
- Greys Road car park, Henley (Co Wheels)
- Cattlemarket car park, Wallingford (Co Wheels)
- West St Helens car park, Abingdon (Co Wheels)
- Cattle Market car park, Abingdon (Co Wheels)
- Portway car park, Wantage (Co Wheels)
- Energy Superhub, Redbridge Park and Ride, Oxford (Co Wheels).