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Zipcar rolls out London plug-in fleet

Car-sharing provider Zipcar has begun the rollout of a fleet of Volkswagen e-Golfs on its London network, as part of efforts to tackle air quality in the capital.

325 zero-tailpipe emission e-Golfs are to be added to Zipcar’s London fleet over the coming months, which can be hired for up to £14 per-hour by Zipcar members for use in the city. Currently around 200,000 people are signed up to the Zipcar service in London.

The new fully electric Zipcar E-Golf (Picture: Amit Lennon)

The roll-out has been described by Zipcar as the ‘largest publicly available shared fleet’ of electric and zero emission cars in the country.

According to the company, each round-trip car club car replaces 10.5 vehicles from the road as members report that they sell cars to join the service.

In light of the move, Zipcar has called upon policy makers and charging network operators to support the development of the city’s charging network to allow more electric vehicles to be deployed.

Jonathan Hampson, Zipcar UK general manager, said: “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. 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.

“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 kick-start a whole new relationship for Londoners with the car and reduce its dominancy.”

BVRLA ‘Plug-in Pledge’

Coinciding with the announcement by Zipcar, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has launched a ‘Plug-in Pledge’ to see its members’ EV fleet size grow from 50,000 today to 720,000 by 2025.

To ensure that fleets can achieve the aim the association is calling on the government to bring forward plug-in company car tax incentives before 2020, to provide a five-year commitment on plug-in vehicle incentives and offer more infrastructure support for businesses looking to deploy large plug-in fleets.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney, said: “Over the last two decades, the fleet industry has embraced the introduction of emissions-based motoring taxes and used the incentives they provide to deliver a sustained and substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.

“Fleets are ready to make a large-scale transition to zero-emission motoring, providing that the Government can match their ambition with a supportive tax regime and more help with charging infrastructure.”

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