Car clubs in Scotland are getting some electric love from their government. The UK is putting £1,000,000 ($1.7 million US) of new funding toward electric vehicles, specifically encouraging the clean growth of car clubs Scotland. Those funds are expected to provide as many as 30 additional EVs for the clubs.
"Car clubs have the potential to deliver significant environmental benefits," says Chas Ball, Chief Executive of Carplus, an environmental transport NGO in the UK. "We feel this announcement opens the way for residents and employers to try out electric vehicles through car club membership."
"This announcement opens the way for residents and employers to try out electric vehicles through car club membership" – Chas Ball
With the help of Transport Scotland, the country's national transport agency, 10 electric cars have been added to Scotland's car club fleet in 2013 and 2014. Currently, EVs make up four percent of the fleet, with hybrid cars making up another 10 percent. Over the next 18 months, Carplus wants to have 50 EVs in Scotland's car clubs, or 20 percent of the total fleet.
The UK's car clubs work mostly on a pay-to-drive model, with an annual or monthly membership fee plus hourly and per-mile rates. Studies show that these car clubs actually reduce the number of cars on the road and encourage alternate forms of transportation, as well as the use of newer, cleaner, better maintained cars - all of which help reduce harmful emissions. The injection of more electric vehicles into the expanding car club system is expected to help continue this positive environmental trend, give more people access to the fleets and encourage a growing infrastructure for electric vehicles.
In addition to the funds set aside for expanding the car clubs' fleet of EVs, Transport Scotland is investing in up to 300 new charging points for electric vehicles, bringing the total to about 1,200. Scotland wants to have rapid charging infrastructure available every 35 miles or less along the country's primary road network. According to Transport Minister Keith Brown, "The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to achieving the target of almost total decarbonisation of road transport by 2050 because of the numerous benefits."