The University of St Andrews, together with Transport Scotland and operators E-Car, today launched Fife’s first ever all electric, community car club.
St Andrews now has a fleet of 10 electric vehicles (8× Renault ZOE hatchbacks and 2× Renault Kangoo vans) which businesses, residents and visitors can hire by the hour; making it Scotland’s most densely populated EV town.
The E-car Club represents a positive step in reducing the town’s carbon emissions, and towards the University of St Andrews’ goal of becoming the UK’s first carbon-neutral university. For as little as an hour - or for several days – club members can collect zero-emission vehicles from three locations; Agnes Blackadder Halls, The Gateway at North Haugh, and David Russell Apartments.
The objective of the scheme is to improve local mobility, whilst reducing parking and congestion issues in an environmentally-friendly and affordable way.
Members will be supplied with a membership card and pin number which they can use to book the vehicles; either online or by phone. Once the vehicle is booked, the membership card can be swiped on the windscreen-mounted reader to unlock the vehicle. The member then enters their pin number into the on-board computer and the keys will be released; allowing them to drive away.
The cars can generally travel around 65-90 miles on a single charge; putting Dundee and Edinburgh within easy reach. The growing infrastructure of rapid charging units is also making even longer journeys an option.
“The Scottish Government is committed to achieving the target of almost total decarbonisation of road transport by 2050 because of the numerous benefits this will bring. This community based project will also help improve air quality in this popular tourist town while encouraging more use of EVs in general.
The fleet launched today adds to three existing electric vehicles operated in the town by the University of St Andrews, bringing the total number of electric vehicles in use in St Andrews to thirteen.
This development also builds on efforts, led by the University of St Andrews and community partners, to make St Andrews a greener, more environmentally conscious place. The E-Car Club will help the St Andrews Towards Transition initiative towards its goal of saving Co2 across the town. Initiatives already underway include: a “grow your own” food co-op, neighbourhood based energy advice sessions, a home energy advice scheme targeting rural households, and a town wide bike maintenance and rental program.