Banbury EV company adds its name to Oxfordshire electric car club pilot

Countywide initiative offering people chance to reduce reliance on vehicle ownership and go electric

Residents in Banbury and its surrounding areas can hire two new electric vehicles (EVs) thanks to a local company signing up to a countywide EV car club scheme.

Zimbl, a Banbury-based start-up company, has provided the additional EVs at two car parks in the town.

The electric car sharing pilot is a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council, Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire district councils. Each council has provided the car parking spaces for the vehicles.

Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “Zimbl is a welcome addition to our car club partnership. The programme represents a great option for residents looking for access to a vehicle without having the ongoing cost and worry of owning one, and many families will find them an ideal substitute for a second car, reducing clutter on your driveway or in the street.

“With all the vehicles in the car club fleet being electric, there’s the added bonus that people can experience driving an EV, adding to the big emissions and cost savings that come from lower car ownership.”

Zimbl join existing car club providers Co Wheels, and Enterprise CarClub, offering pay per use EVs for the trial which is scheduled to end in April 2024.

Richard Devitt, Co-Founder of Zimbl, said: “We believe that car ownership is an outdated concept – especially for second cars – and that car sharing will soon become the new norm. By hiring an EV only when we need to use a vehicle, we save money and help to reduce emissions.

“We believe in the power of electric mobility to create a sustainable and greener future and our mission is to provide accessible, convenient and hassle-free hourly electric vehicle (EV) hire services – revolutionising the way people access electric vehicles.”

The EV car club scheme gives people the chance to drive an EV when they need one, without the expense of owning or leasing one outright. Car clubs can make it much more affordable for people who don’t drive every day and provide real-world experience of driving electric without a long-term commitment.

The Oxfordshire wide pilot launched in April 2023, making a range of EVs available for people to hire on an hourly or daily basis at the following locations. Details and locations are available on Oxfordshire County Council’s website.

Richard Falconer, Managing Director of Co Wheels, said: “It is great to see that Oxfordshire, once again, is leading the UK in providing sustainable transport options. This exciting expansion across the county reflects the growing demand for car-sharing clubs, driven by residents who are increasingly recognising the environmental and economic advantages of shared mobility.

“As we continue to make traditional car ownership a thing of the past, we've recently expanded in Oxfordshire by introducing two MG4 electric cars in Bicester and Kidlington, bringing our total fleet to 50 vehicles all conveniently located not just in the city centre but now in towns and villages across the county. This expansion aligns perfectly with the growing awareness and enthusiasm for eco-conscious choices, as we continue our journey toward a cleaner, more sustainable future for all.”

The EV car club pilot is running for 12 months and will assess the demand for this type of service across Oxfordshire. The pilot project aims to inform longer term plans for potential EV car club rollout across the county.

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