Need to get from “A” to “B” but want to do so without pumping exhaust emissions into the atmosphere? Or perhaps you simply want to trial electric car technology before you consider buying one of the vehicles for yourself? The answer could be the new E-Car Club: a nationwide electric car club.
Based in Wolverton, Milton Keynes, the E-Car Club has recently purchased three five-door Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (pictured) which will be offered to Milton Keynes residents and businesses for around £5.50 an hour. A further E-Car Club will be launched in North Oxford, with two more Nissan LEAF electric cars, later this autumn.
So how does the E-Car Club work?
Members are simply given a smart card and PIN when they book a vehicle online, by phone or via their mobile phone. They can then walk to where the LEAF is parked, tap the card on a reader screen, unplug the charging cable and drive away. The result is that travel costs are reduced, mobility is increased, and fewer harmful emissions are pumped into the atmosphere.
Businesses can also access the E-Car club using several different methods: they can “pay as you go”, with businesses joining the club and adding divers to their account with monthly billing based on an account holder’s usage; take out a business account which entitles it to a 20 per cent discount and the chance to block book vehicles in advance; or e-car hosting, where businesses provide a publicly accessible parking space for a vehicle and E-Car does the rest.
According to Barry Beeston, Nissan’s fleet sales director, the launch of E-Car has a number of advantages.
“We welcome the launch of E-Car as it makes LEAF accessible to a number of consumers and business users who previously may not have had access to an electric vehicle,” he said.
“E-Car has some excellent corporate services set up which are increasingly important as companies aim to reduce their carbon footprint.”
I drove a Prius when it first came out in the USA. It was OK, it is after all, just a car.
I prefer to drive one of my bicycles.
I'd like to test drive a Leaf but I can see right away it is way too heavy and only goes 70 miles on a charge, half what we were promised.
There will not be a rapid uptake, they are already obsolete before they leave the Sunderland factory, so they will only sell them at deep discount. I wouldn't buy one for for more than £9,000.
October 16, 2012