A €3.8m pan-European project which aims to improve access to electric vehicles (EVs) through an affordable car-sharing scheme, successfully launched its first demonstration site in Solihull in December 2018.
Through a fleet of 18 Renault ZOEs, operated by E-Car Club working in conjunction with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Solihull Community Housing, residents will now be able to experience electric motoring, while reducing emissions and improving local air quality.
They can hire the cars from as little as £3.50 an hour, which is hoped will boost EV accessibility, reduce emissions and improve local air quality.
In a statement, InclusivEV say they hope to prove that not only is EV hire affordable and financially viable but also that can it bring about social change and increased cohesion in areas of high deprivation and need.
They believe that electric vehicle car sharing in edge of city neighbourhoods has the potential of unlocking a market of 13.5 million households across Europe, which could save 151,200 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
Solihull is the first InclusivEV site to go live, and will be followed by Modena, Italy, which will launch in 2019, and Valencia in Spain.
Robert Evans, CEO at Cenex, said; ‘Accessibility is key to accelerating the switch away from fossil fuel vehicles, reducing emissions and therefore improving air quality, particularly in urban areas. The launch of the InclusivEV project in Solihull is a major step towards widening EV adoption, aiming to extend the benefits of electric vehicles to all in a cost-effective way, while introducing societal benefits in terms of greater mobility for residents.’
A report published earlier this month by think tank Localis warned millions of people could miss out on the environmental and financial benefits of EVs.
The report emphasised that families across the UK are at risk of sharing the cost for necessary new energy infrastructure, but not being able to access for themselves the benefits of EVs and other ‘smart’ technologies – driving further inequality between richer and poorer parts of the country.
‘Without a change in regulation, behaviour and a wholesale transfer of powers for local energy policies, we risk a tale of two cities in our major urban centres – deepening levels of inequality between the prosperous and more deprived parts of town,’ said Localis chief executive, Jonathan Werran.