The car sharing network claims the move would see 160,000 tonnes less CO2 emitted and 821 million fewer miles driven every year, alongside 120,000 fewer privately owned cars on the streets of London.

But Zipcar insists it cannot achieve these goals without the backing of city authorities, charging firms and other mobility firms.

 “We’re in the process of introducing the first of our fully electric cars to London and it’s a proud and exciting time for us, but the reality is it’s not enough,” the firm’s general manager Jonathan Hampson said.

“If we are to make electric car sharing the norm and tackle London’s pollution and congestion problem head on, we need to see city authorities, infrastructure companies and car manufacturers, all raise their game in this space. We can’t bring about the change needed on our own, this needs to be a collaborative effort.”

Car share

The rallying call comes as Zipcar starts to introduce the first of 325 shared Volkswagen e-Golfs to the streets of London. The models are priced from 31p/minute and capped at £14/hour.

Zipcar believes its car sharing business model helps improve access to the still highly priced EV technology. The company also aims to encourage investment in charging points in London and help address the capital’s poor air quality and congestion crisis.

Hampson continued: “The lack of progress with EV over the last five years acts as a sobering reality check as to how difficult electrification really is. London desperately needs a catalyst that could lead to greater adoption of the technology, and we believe that car sharing is that catalyst.

“It has the power to push EV driving into the mainstream once and for all, and to kickstart a whole new relationship for Londoners with the car and reduce its dominancy.”

The sharing economy was listed as one of the 10 game-changing developing that are empowering businesses to transition to low-carbon fleets in a recent edie Insight report. You can download the Accelerating the Shift report for free here.

George Ogleby

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