Zipcar chooses Putney as one of the test venues for its new range of electric vehicles.
Ten Vauxhall Amperas are now being introduced across London as the car sharing scheme becomes the first in the UK to offer environmentally friendly electric vehicles to its members.
As part of the six month pilot project Wandsworth Council has created a dedicated parking bay on St John’s Avenue, Putney, for the exclusive use of the electric car. The space comes with its own charging point so the battery can be topped-up in between uses.
If the trial proves successful more electric models could come into services across the borough and beyond.
To find the nearest car club vehicle near you enter your postcode on the Carplus website.
Wandsworth Council’s transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said:
“This could be the first step towards an even greener car club and we’re delighted to be involved with the trial. These eye-catching, low-emission cars could help us to cut traffic pollution and we hope will attract even more local people to sign up.
“Thousands of Wandsworth residents have already embraced car sharing schemes – helping to cut the total number of cars on our roads, free up parking spaces and reduce traffic congestion. Our borough is already the car club capital of south London and we will continue to work with local operators to promote, expand and improve the service.”
General Manager of Zipcar UK Mark Walker said:
“At Zipcar we are committed to positive change in our city environments. We believe that this pilot marks a step change in the evolution of electric vehicles in London and represents a major advance for London and Londoners.
“Thanks to the Ampera’s unique technology, on any given day, Zipcar members can be doing multiple short trips using only the stored electric battery power or longer trips powered by electricity generated by the on board range extender. For the first time in an electric vehicle, members need not worry about range or recharging.”
European Car of the Year for 2012, the Ampera is a full-performance and full-speed Extended-Range Electric Vehicle. It can travel free of exhaust emissions for up to 50 miles after which it shifts to a petrol generator that produces electricity to keep it going an additional 310* miles on a full tank of petrol.
Because many trips taken by Zipcar members are less than 35 miles, it is anticipated that a large number of journeys will use electric power only.
Vauxhall’s Fleet Sales Director James Taylor added:
“With the Ampera, Vauxhall has brought to market the first electric vehicle that can go anywhere anytime. It’s a vehicle designed to lower emissions and boost fuel economy, and partnering with an innovative company like Zipcar who is committed to helping the environment, is a partnership we’re delighted to be involved with.’’
Even more car club vehicles are currently being introduced on Wandsworth streets as the council continues its efforts to expand the schemes. The roll-out means thousands more local residents now have a low cost, pay-as-you-go car sharing vehicle within a short walk of their home.
The council first introduced on-street hire cars in 2007. Since then the number of local people using the scheme has rocketed and is now among the highest in London.
Independent research shows that, on average, one car club vehicle results in a reduction of 20 privately owned cars in the local area.
Expanding car clubs is a key priority for the council's Travel Choices campaign which aims to give residents new and improved transport options. Other objectives include increasing capacity on rail routes, bringing the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme to the borough and extending the Northern Line to Battersea.
There are three car club operators in Wandsworth - Zipcar, City Car Club and Greenwheels. Each operator offers cars on a pay-as-you-go basis which can be picked up from a local bay used for as little as one hour at a time before being returned to the same spot. The cars can be booked on-line or over the phone.
June 1, 2012