The town of St Andrews has launched the E-club to help reduce carbon emissions, while contributing towards the University’s goal of becoming the UK’s first carbon-neutral University.

The scheme has been partly funded by the £1m fund announced last summer for EVs in car clubs through the ‘Developing Car Clubs in Scotland’ programme.

Easy access

The club consists of 10 electric vehicles – eight Renault ZOE hatchbacks and two Renault Kangoo vans – which club members can hire from as little as an hour up to several days.

E-Car Club members will pay a £50 one-off joining fee for access to the scheme, with rental prices starting at £4.50 per hour or £35 per day, including power and insurance. The cars can generally travel around 65-90 miles on a single charge; putting Dundee and Edinburgh within easy reach, and as both cities have rapid charging units even longer journeys are an option.

The University has already worked with the town on a range of initiatives to make St Andrews a more environmentally conscious town, such as a “grow your own food” co-op, neighbourhood based energy advise sessions, and a town wide bike maintenance and rental program.

E-Car Club already operates in multiple locations across the UK and is growing at an unprecedented rate, with several launches planned for the next three months.

Low-carbon roads

“The Scottish Government is committed to achieving the target of almost total decarbonisation of road transport by 2050 because of the numerous benefits this will bring,” Scottish Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay said: “This community based project will also help improve air quality in this popular tourist town while encouraging more use of EVs in general.”

Matthew Eastwood, Car Club development manager at the environmental transport NGO Carplus, added: “Schemes such as this clearly demonstrate that car clubs can play a key role in providing access to low-carbon vehicles, without the need to own one.

“It will be very interesting to see how Scotland’s first EV-only car club develops over the next few months and years, as is likely to provide a template for the development of similar schemes in other towns and cities across Scotland.”

Forum for the Future’s director of sustainability David Bent told edie last month that traditional business models are at risk of being left behind by the rapid growth of servitisation businesses and the sharing economy, such as this car-sharing scheme.

David Bent at Sustainability Live 2015

David Bent will be chairing a session on new business models at Sustainability Live 2015 in April.

The session, titled ‘New models: the system revolutionaries’, will take place at edie’s brand new high-level conference during the show; exploring the transformational change needed by businesses to create a sustainable future, with a closer look at the circular economy, sharing economy and servitization.

View the full agenda for the Sustainability Live 2015 Conference and register to attend for free here.

Lucinda Dann

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