As part of the eco-town development Elmsbrook at NW Bicester, a number of different companies have come together to offer a car sharing scheme once the first residents have moved in. House builders A2Dominion, North Oxford BMW, Fleetdrive Electric and E-Car Club have joined forces with at the development to set up a car sharing club with a BMW i3 and Renault Zoe on the fleet.
Designed from the outset to be an envrionmentally-friendly town, the NW Bicester development wants to take an holistic view of living, rather than just the homes themselves. This has brought about the creation of the car-sharing club with a number of incentives for residents as they arrive.
Managed by E-Car Club – which only features electric vehicles on its national fleet – house owners will be have half price lifetime menbership to the car sharing service, not only for Elmsbrook but across the country. However, the plan is to get residents interested and used to the idea of electric cars and the two car fleet will help with that aim. Developers A2Dominion will be covering the costs of five hours’ free use for users to try the service out.
The developers have also thought about the long term aspect of EV use with a tablet within the homes to allow residents to book a vehicle through the a club. Those who get hooked and convert to EV ownership, house designers have set-up the wiring so that electric charging points can be installed easily and at no cost within the first two years, while there will also be a number of public charge points around the new town.
Pop-up EV test drive events will become a regular feature in the future to help spread the word, while a number of ‘Community Champions’ will be chosen from residents who will get the use of an EV free for two years in return for sharing their ownership experience with neighbours.
The whole scheme has come about as part of the development’s aims to reduce the number of local journies made by conventionally fuelled vehicles from 67.5 per cent to 50 per cent by 2026, while also encouraging a shift to walking and public transport, combined with electric car use, to minimise the the town’s occupants impact on the enviroment.