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Shared mobility news June 2014

Welcome to the latest edition of Shared Mobility News!

Find out what’s happening in the world of car clubs. You’ll also find links to latest recommended reads and details on upcoming events.

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£1m new funding for electric car clubs in Scotland

Transport Scotland has announced £1 million of new funding for electric vehicles, aimed specifically at expanding Scotland’s growing car club sector.

Matthew Eastwood, Car Club Development Manager (Scotland) for Carplus, welcomed the Scottish Government’s continued support. He said: ‘This new resource will enable an increasing number of people to access electric vehicles, from Dumfries and Dunbar to Aberdeen and Forres, as well as in the two major cities. Car clubs contribute to reducing the number of cars on Scotland’s roads. By increasing the number of zero emission vehicles, car club members are also helping to tackle air pollution.’

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First shared EV in Edinburgh

The first shared electric vehicle for Edinburgh and Glasgow was launched this April, at Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). The car is being provided by City Car Club, which has operated in Edinburgh since 2002.

City Car Club has advanced plans for three more electric vehicles, with two planned for Glasgow and one more for Edinburgh, all funded by the Developing Car Clubs in Scotland programme. ECCI has partnered with the University of Edinburgh to install four electric vehicle charge points on site. The Centre will monitor the use and attitudes towards EV to inform and encourage a move to low carbon lifestyles among visitors, staff and students.

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What will London's Ultra Low Emission Zone mean for shared transport?

Carplus has participated in a second consultation on the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for London – this time for the car clubs sector.

Public consultation on London’s ULEZ will start in November. In the meantime Carplus and the London car club operators have recently engaged in discussions with Transport for London about how it will affect car clubs.

Although any implementation of a central London ULEZ is likely to be in two stages in 2020 and 2025, it is not clear yet how this will benefit operators. Aimed at encouraging vehicles owners to upgrade emission standards, it could result in more use of car clubs or facilitate the introduction of more flexible car-sharing schemes.

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car2go withdraws from UK shared transport

car2go, the pioneer of ‘free-floating’ car sharing, has announced it will withdraw from the UK with effect from 30 May 2014. This will involve the closure of its Birmingham operation, which started on a 12-month trial basis in May 2013.

‘We’ve listened closely to customer feedback and taking the UK’s strong culture and tradition of private vehicle ownership into account, we have decided to withdraw from the UK market place,’ said car2go. Read its full press release here.

Carplus Chief Executive Chas Ball wrote to car2go suggesting that its members be offered membership of City Car Club, which operates seven cars in the city, and Co-wheels, which has a scheme in south Birmingham. Chas Ball said: ‘We believe that the shared use vehicle option (car clubs and car-sharing) for social and business travel is growing. In the right locations both flexible car-sharing (like car2go) and point to point electric car-sharing will become established successfully in Britain in the coming years.

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Peer-to-peer car sharing launch in Linlithgow

Transition Linlithgow has launched a new peer-to-peer car club, operated by easyCar Club. The club uses people’s own cars and vans when they’re not otherwise in use, and provides car owners with the opportunity to make money from something they already own and pay for. Supported by Carplus through Transport Scotland’s Developing Car Clubs in Scotland (DCCS) programme, the scheme is being trialled in Linlithgow to encourage take-up and test if this type of scheme can work in a vibrant, close-knit community. Visit the car club webpage here for details.


Pay-as-you-drive cars now available in the Lake District

You can now leave your car at home, travel to the Lake District and still have a car when you need it. As part of the GoLakes Travel programme, which is supported by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, Co-wheels is operating a pay-as-you-drive fleet of 6 cars and 5 Twizys across the central Lakes. Cars are available at Oxenholme and Windermere stations and some of the main village centres. The Twizys are at large accommodation hubs.

Alistair Kirkbride of the Lake District National Park Authority said: “Marketing pay-as-you-drive cars alongside other options for getting around suddenly makes sustainable transport and access real for a lot of people. As visitors, our day-to-day habits have a bit of a holiday, so loads of people are introduced to the idea of a car club in a pretty gorgeous setting.”

Lakes Development Co-ordinator Miranda Morgan of Co-wheels added: “Co-wheels like to innovate. As we expand nationally, members are really liking the idea of using Co-wheels cars when they go on holiday. It makes smart door-to-door journeys a reality”. For more information see


Progress on streamlining DVLA check procedures

Carplus has recently been involved in organising a consultation with the DVLA about ongoing plans to streamline its operations and improve access to its driver and vehicle records.

Car club operators are looking forward to changes in the way driving licences are checked. The DVLA is streamlining their processes whilst phasing out the paper part of the driver licence. When fully implemented, these changes will remove the necessity for a three-way call to check the status of new applicants in favour of a web-based check authorised by the applicant.

Carplus, working with the Cabinet Office, recently co-ordinated two meetings with DVLA – one for accredited operators and another for 2+ car sharing service providers. The same meeting also looked in some detail and the process of checking the status of vehicles.


Moving towards 2+ car sharing accreditation

As well as meeting with a team from DVLA, Carplus and the key 2+car sharing operators are developing a position statement on how the sector is dealing with risk and taking steps to help its members demonstrate their credentials. This is one part of a drive towards developing an accreditation scheme.

Carplus is actively seeking foundation funding to support the development of an accreditation and data collection process that would allow the sector to present more clearly the impacts and policy benefits of the services it provides to communities, affinity groups and employers.


The benefits of international links

Carplus is fostering links with car-sharing organisations in other countries, which often helps us spot new trends. Clearly Germany is a key area for innovation and we congratulate Bundesverband Car Sharing (BCS) on 25 years of car sharing in Germany.

Carplus has also been involved in wocomoco, the World Congress on Collaborative Mobility, in Berne. Speakers included Drummond Gilbert from corporate member GoCarShare. Carplus Chief Executive Chas Ball attended on Day 2 and learnt about Swiss approaches to corporate car-sharing, including Swiss Post’s commitment to rural post buses.

Chas also recently presented in Warsaw, alongside Michael Glotz Richter of the City State of Bremen, at a Civitas Workshop for Polish cities organised by Krakow University of Technology.


Two years further funding for Developing Car Clubs in Scotland

Minister for Transport Keith Brown has announced two more years of funding for the Developing Car Clubs in Scotland programme.

Speaking at the ECCI EV launch event, the Minister said: ‘I’m encouraged that funding from the Developing Car Clubs in Scotland programme has allowed Edinburgh City Car Club to purchase its first electric vehicle. The Scottish Government is committed to encouraging more drivers to experience what it is like to drive an EV, and the introduction of EVs into car clubs is an excellent way to achieve this, as well as attracting new members to join.

‘All the clubs offer a convenient, cost effective alternative to car ownership. But in addition, car club members are more likely to walk and use public transport. They are three times as likely to cycle on a regular basis than the national average.

‘I’m pleased to announce further funding for the programme over the next two financial years of £745,000, which will allow it to expand into other communities and continue to increase the numbers of EVs available to members.’


Vacancy: Executive Director

Carplus is recruiting an Executive Director. If you are passionate about leading the development of low-carbon shared transport through car clubs and car sharing and can act as an advocate for these growing sectors, we would like to hear from you. The closing date for applications is noon on the 16 June. For details see:


Shared Transport Masterclass: 17 June - The Guildhall, Bath

This one day event will explore the concept of shared transport and how demand for affordable, low carbon, available-now alternatives is driving big changes.

It will feature case studies from LSTF projects which make use of shared modes; cycle share, car clubs, car sharing and taxi sharing and integration with traditional public transport.

Carplus Members benefit from a 50% reduction in the cost of attending – contact for the discount code to use when booking. Full details and booking link available here:


The Benefits of Sustainable Transport for your Business: 3 July, University of Edinburgh

Matt Eastwood of Carplus will be among the speakers at the Bright Green Business Network’s sustainable transport event. He will join representatives from the University of Edinburgh, Lothian Buses, Sustrans and the Energy Saving Trust to discuss formulating travel plans, alternative travel, changing behaviour and measuring business footprint. The cost is £10, or £5 for members of the Bright Green Business Network. For details email To book visit:


Carplus car club forum 23: 25 September - TfL offices, Palestra, Southwark, London

Come and join us for the next in the programme of car club forums and hear the latest news from key speakers in the world of car clubs. A full programme will follow but book here to secure your place:


Technical training event for London borough officers: 4 November - NCVO, Islington, London

The programme for this training day will cover topics including procurement, Section 106 agreements and increasing public awareness. A full draft programme is available on the events page of the Carplus website. Attendance is by invitation only – please email if you are a London borough officer and interested in attending.

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