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Feb 29 2012

Harrow Shortlisted for Electric Car Club

As the price of fuel heads ever higher, with diesel this week predicted to be a £1.50/litre shortly, attention seems to have drifted to electric cars. One group, the Electric Car Club, have short-listed a number of communities in the South of England to be pilot sites – and one of these is Harrow.

Harrow Council has already installed electric vehicle charging points at it’s Civic Centre, but it would be fair to say that the UK isn’t quite ready for electric cars yet. Without moving into a long comparison of the technicalities of electric vs hybrid automotive systems, electric cars tend to fall into two camps: those that are powered only by electric and require regular recharging, and those which have some kind of on-board engine to either assist in propulsion or to generate electricity to run the vehicle.

However, E-Car – it says on their press release – will be a competitively priced, wholly electric, pay-per-use car club, designed to provide community groups with the convenience and flexibility of a full-sized private car without the high cost of owning one. And all with the lowest emissions in the market today!

We will take full responsibility for permitting, vehicle acquisition and ownership, charging infrastructure, electricity provision, maintenance, booking systems, cleaning, servicing and taxes – as well as ensuring vehicles are charged and ready to run for 70 miles +.  Members will have unlimited access to full-sized electric vehicles parked in convenient locations throughout their neighbourhood. These cars can then be booked online, by phone or using a mobile application, unlocked using an E-Car membership card, driven for as long as they are required, and then returned to their dedicated parking bay.

Members will pay a membership fee of £4.50/month followed by transparent hourly usage rates starting at £5.95 p/h. There will be no additional fees, fuel surcharges or mileage costs.

E-Car will be running an operational pilot in 3 or more locations from Summer 2012. Following successful completion of this trial, national roll-out will follow in 2013. Pilot communities are currently being selected in partnership with the National Energy Foundation.

Seven communities have been shortlisted: Harrow, Milton Keynes, Wadebridge, Isle of Wight, Whitehill Bordon, Abingdon and North Oxford.

To vote for Harrow, go to www.e-carclub.org and enter your details.

Sources: Press Release, E-Car Flyer, Sustainable Ventures, and National Energy Foundation.

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