Co Cars wins car club bid in Plymouth

by | Feb 15, 2022 | News

Press release from Plymouth City Council:

Plymouth’s move to make people less reliant on private cars is going up another gear with a car club for the city’s much anticipated mobility hubs.

The Council has this week awarded a contract to Co Cars, the on demand, zero and low emission car club , which has its headquarters in Exeter, and is the largest, longest running car club across the South West peninsula.

Their Plymouth fleet will be all electric and people will be able to book them via the Co Cars app or online  to pick up at the hubs which will be dotted across the city.

With the average car only being used four per cent of the time, a car club for occasional use could be just the job for a business or leisure trip or even the weekly shop.

Not only is an EV for hire a greener option, it could be miles cheaper than a car sitting outside their home costing money in MOT, tax, servicing, not to mention petrol.

Other cities who have car clubs have also noticed the decrease in the number of cars brought by students who move into the city – helping to create more space in the more congested city centre streets.

The car club concept is a key part of the mobility hubs which are being planned for the city and are expected to be ready for action this time next year.

Councillor Jonathan Drean, cabinet member for transport said: “The pieces are all beginning to come together.

“We’ve committed to reducing carbon emissions and to greener travel as part of our Climate Emergency Action Plan, but we know that we need to make it much more attractive and easy for people to choose to go greener.

“The car club is part of that and we are delighted to welcome Co Cars on board on our journey to making Plymouth greener.”

Mark Hodgson, managing director of Co Cars said; “We are thrilled to have been awarded the Transforming Cities car club contract with Plymouth City Council. We’ve had Co Cars in the city for a number of years, but to introduce our electric fleet is a real step forward in our journey towards Net Zero. Each Co Car removes approximately 8.5 private cars from the road which, in turn, helps reduce congestion and carbon emissions. We also enable many of our members to save hundreds of pounds when compared to owning a car. We hope the city of Plymouth loves our electric cars as much as we do.”

The Council recently announced a 400-strong fleet of electric bikes will be ready and available for hire from the hubs early next year.  Like the car club, the Beryl bikes will be bookable online.  The hubs will also have electric vehicle charge points – 300 in total across the city. 

In 2021, 18.5 per cent of all new cars registered were electric. But with the average cost hovering around £44,000, for many the price is out of reach.

Having EVs available for hire gives people a greener choice without breaking the bank.

The mobility hubs – with their e-car clubs, e-bike hire and electric vehicle charging – are part of a massive programme in Plymouth which has been funded by the Department of Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), which aims to change people’s travel habits by making it as easy as possible for people to choose low carbon options to get about.

The Council is currently assessing the best sites for up to 50 hubs that will be located across the city.

New cycle routes are also on the cards for key transport corridors, with a focus on routes used by commuters to travel to work such as the Dockyard to the City Centre and Crownhill Road.

The schemes improve access to work, restart the city’s growth agenda, deliver homes, safeguard and create new jobs.  It is also designed to improve air quality and reduce the city’s overall carbon emissions as a direct response to the city’s climate emergency declaration.