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Survey launched to establish interest in a community led electric car club for South Somerset

| District

Local residents, businesses and community organisations are being asked for their views on establishing a community-led electric car club for South Somerset via a short online survey.

The survey is being promoted by South Somerset District Council and would give affordable access to electric cars for everyone whilst also supporting the shift to zero carbon transport.

  • Initiative led by South Somerset District Council and Co Cars
  • If successful, it would enable affordable access to electric cars
  • Survey live online at https://bit.ly/SSomerset until 30 April 2021

Since the announcement of the Government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, interest in electric cars has surged by 500%1. However, they remain too expensive for many people. In addition, one of the third of households cannot charge a car at home2.

An electric car club would address these challenges by locating cars across the district, bookable from as little as half an hour for one all-inclusive price. This would give members access to electric cars without having to own one.

Furthermore, by switching to using an electric car club and getting rid of an occasionally used personal vehicle, members could save money whilst also helping reduce the area’s congestion, parking and pollution problems.

The survey also asks if respondents would be interested in an electric bike share scheme. Because they are electrically assisted, the bikes are a great alternative to the car for many shorter trips including commuting, everyday errands and leisure trips.

Councillor Sarah Dyke, SSDC portfolio holder for Environment, said: “Our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 remains our priority and we’re determined to keep pushing to meet the key milestones set out in our environment delivery plan. We are already successfully delivering an electric scooter hire trial scheme in Yeovil and will soon extend this to Crewkerne and Chard, so this electric vehicle hire scheme is a natural next step to provide eco-friendly transport choices for our communities. We hope the residents of South Somerset will take part in this survey to allow us to gauge interest and demand. Sharing is a great way to reduce consumption, over production and saves money as well as carbon and other emissions impacting on our environmental wellbeing.”

The survey is available at https://bit.ly/SSomerset and is open until 30 April 2021. The results of the survey will not only help establish the viability of the project but will also be shared with SSDC to assist their planning.

The survey is being run in partnership with Co Cars car club, a social enterprise that has an established network of low and zero emission cars across the South West. Co-Cars company also runs the Co Bikes electric bike sharing scheme.

Mark Hodgson, Managing Director of Co Cars, said: “Over the last 12 months, we have seen a huge surge of interest in our shared, electric cars and bikes from communities across the region. We’re really excited to see if we can bring them to South Somerset as they would give people access to the latest technology at an affordable price, helping them save money and hassle when compared to owning a car.”

For more information, visit www.co-cars.co.uk and www.co-bikes.co.uk.

1https://www.motortrader.com/motor-trader-news/automotive-news/ev-interest-surged-500-following-news-2030-new-ice-ban-says-buyacar-co-uk-23-11-2020.

2https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/parking-review/news/66621/a-third-of-uk-homeowners-don-t-have-a-driveway-or-garage-to-install-a-home-chargepoint/.

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