A pay as you go car club is set to launch across the Falkirk Council area this week.
Ten electric vehicles will be located throughout the area making it the largest EV club in Scotland.
The car club, funded by the Council and managed by Co Wheels, aims to reduce urban congestion and lower emissions by renting out electric cars on an hourly basis.
It could also save members up to £1,000 a year on motoring costs and is an environmentally friendly alternative to car ownership.
Research by Co-Wheels shows that car clubs have reduced car dependence with, on average, each car club car removing between 10 and 15 privately owned cars from traffic.
Car club members also walk, cycle and use public transport more after joining a club.
Councillor Paul Garner, spokesperson for Environment said: “We hope the new Falkirk Car Club will provide a low-cost alternative to car ownership and help reduce carbon emissions across the area. It will also provide more transport and connection opportunities for those without cars and help families on lower incomes access low-cost vehicles.The car club fits well with the Council’s priorities to reduce the number of private cars on Falkirk’s roads and minimise the number and length of car trips in the area.
“We see this as one of the first steps to reduce individual car ownership and encourage more sustainable means of travel. The removal of private cars from our roads will result in an improvement of air quality through a reduction in carbon and other emissions. It is clear from the discussions at COP26 that we must act now and do all we can individually and collectively to reduce our carbon emissions and create a greener, cleaner planet for future generations. "If the uptake is a success we will look to roll out to other town centres across the area.”
Tony Archer from Co Wheels said: “Co Wheels are delighted to be working with the Council and encouraging people to think about making more sustainable journeys while they’re getting out and about. Not having access to your own car doesn’t have to limit where you can travel and who you can see. Car clubs give residents and businesses the convenience of owning a car, with none of the hassles.
"Most cars spend 97% of the day in a garage, on a driveway or in a car park, so having the option to hire a car for those times when you can’t use public transport or walk make it both affordable and greenest way to travel. Joining the car club in Falkirk is a cost-effective and realistic alternative that you can start using today.”
Co Wheels representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the car club during a public drop-in session at Garrison Road West Car Park, Falkirk on Wednesday, 17 November. The session runs from 12 noon to 2pm.
Transport Scotland allocated £260,000 to the Council to fund the ten electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure for the car club.
The electric cars will be available at the following locations from November 2021:
- Foundry Loan East Car Park, Larbert
- Hallam Road Car Park, Stenhousemuir
- Dawson Centre, David’s Loan Bainsford
- Westquarter Avenue, Westquarter
- Garrison Place West Car Park, Falkirk
- Meeks Road Car Park, Falkirk
And from these locations by the end of 2021:
- Williamson Street Car Park Falkirk
- Bantaskine Road Car Park, Falkirk
- Kemper Avenue, Falkirk
There are car club schemes running across most major cities in Britain. Nearly 635,000 people belong to a club in Wales, England and Scotland, with more than 6,000 cars available.