Co-cars, the South West’s hire-by-the-hour car club, has announced four more cars have joined its Exeter fleet: two brand new electric cars at Central and St David’s Stations and two low emissions cars at new locations in Pinhoe.
Co-cars launched its first electric car, a Renault Zoe, in Newcourt earlier this year. In just a few short months, it has become one of the most booked in the club’s South West fleet. As well as being fun and easy to drive, it is also zero emission and powered from 100% renewable energy.
Co-cars is now expanding its electric car offer with two new Renault Zoes: one located in Queen Street (Exeter Central Station) and the second in Bonhay Road (Exeter St David’s Station). The car club is also retaining its Toyota Yaris at St David’s Station, giving its members more choice at this major transport interchange.
The Renault Zoe costs just £4.75/hour or £34/day to hire and, if recharged at the Co-cars’ charging points, mileage is free*. Cars have a real world range of up to 180 miles and charging is simple: each has a dedicated ‘charge card’ and members simply use this to disconnect and reconnect the cables at the start and end of each hire. Each charge point also has a connection for members of the public to use.
In Pinhoe, a Toyota Yaris hybrid is now available at Pinn Lane and a Toyota Aygo is at Langaton Lane car park, just a short distance from Pinhoe train station. The Yaris costs £4.25/hour or £30/day, the Aygo £3.75/hour or £27.50/day and both have a mileage charge of 18p per mile.
The investment in additional cars for the east of the city provides more sustainable travel options for the increased amount of new housing in the area. By offering an affordable hire-by-the-hour option, it is hoped residents will be encouraged to reduce their private car usage and thereby save money and reduce congestion.
Managing Director Mark Hodgson commented “It’s fantastic to see our Exeter network continue to expand to meet the demands of this growing, vibrant city. By working in partnership with Devon County Council and Exeter City Council, we are ensuring our new locations are aligned with their objectives of improving air quality and reducing congestion.
“It seems crazy that so many of us still continue to own a piece of machinery that is, on average, used only 3% of the time. But the tide is definitely turning as awareness of the benefits of shared mobility continue to spread.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “It’s encouraging to see Co-Cars increasing its fleet of electric cars, and having them for hire at the rail station provides an important connection for commuters. Alongside Co-Bikes, this scheme provides more shared-transport alternatives in Exeter. It’s great that people have another green option for getting around the city without adding to emissions.”
With the addition of these new vehicles, Co-cars now has eighteen cars available to hire across Exeter and will be adding even more during 2019. Residential Co-cars membership is only £25 per year, covers up to two people per household and gives members access to any car in the network. All Co-cars can be booked 24/7 via smartphone and hire costs range from £3.75 to £4.75 per hour plus 18p per mile.* Hire costs are inclusive of fuel, insurance, breakdown cover, road tax and maintenance. Joining is easy, simply visit www.co-cars.co.uk/join and complete the online application form for either individual or household membership.
Co-cars also operates Co-bikes, the city’s on-street electric bike hire scheme. Set to expand during the first quarter of 2019, the increased Co-bike network will work together with the cars to offer on-demand, shared mobility for all right across Exeter.
* The mileage rate is free when using the Co-cars charging posts next to the EV car bays. Charging undertaken at the Ecotricity Electric Highway rapid chargers, or other pay-to-use charging points, is not covered by Co-cars.