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Shared mobility news June 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of Shared Mobility News!

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

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New peer-to-peer operator as Rentecarlo launches in the UK

rentecarloRentecarlo, a new peer-to-peer car rental operator launched in the UK on 20 May.

‘There is a growing tendency in our society, which is the need for on-demand services that allow for access rather than ownership,’ says Rentecarlo co-founder and CEO Jacob Aleksander. ‘We want to be at the intersection of car sharing, car ownership and car rental, by giving access to a wide selection of cars rather than ownership and thereby making better use of cars. At the same time, sharing your car can take 10 cars off the streets, which counteracts the increasingly crowded roads, traffic and pollution.’

‘Our insurance setup allows car owners to list their cars in less than a minute and renters to instantly sign up, provide their information on our website and rent a car as soon as the car owner approves the request,’ explains Aleksander. ‘Furthermore, we also allow citizens from all EU and Commonwealth countries to use the service for hiring cars when on vacation in the U.K. or similar.’

Visit Rentecarlo to find out more about the service.


London looks to 1 million members by 2025 with car club strategy

A strategy for car club growth across London to 2025 was launched on May 21st. This is the first comprehensive plan for car clubs in the capital, and has been developed through collaborative working between TfL, the Greater London Authority, a coalition of car club operators and others – including Carplus. It focuses on how car clubs will play a role in the development of the city as it manages an expected population increase to 10 million, and tackles air quality and other environmental challenges. Car clubs are acknowledged as playing a significant role in the mix of transport options that Londoners will build into their lifestyles.

The Strategy can be downloaded from the Transport for London website.


GoDrive goes public

Ford is to start making its London-based GoDrive car-sharing service available to the public in the next stage of its launch. Ford is now inviting 2,000 people to register for a free expanded service offering 50 cars across 20 locations, with the fleet consisting of a mix of Ford Fiestas and electric Ford Focuses. The service offers pay-by-minute pricing that covers congestion fees, insurance and fuel plus smartphone app booking and vehicle access.

The initial pilot experiment launched with 100 registered members accessing vehicles from secure parking hubs near major public transport locations, such as Waterloo and Victoria railway stations and started as one of more than 25 experiments that form Ford Smart Mobility. The new testing will be used to gain further insight into user behaviour. Different weekend and day-hire pricing options, and further on- and off-street parking options will be investigated.

Ford also is exploring car-sharing experiments in Germany, India, and the US.


BMWi3 joins DriveNow London fleet

The all-electric BMW i3 has joined the DriveNow London fleet, adding considerably to the pool of car club electric vehicles available in London.

The 30 fully electric, Congestion Charge-exempt BMW i3s – London’s largest electric car fleet – are complemented by DriveNow’s existing pool of 240 BMWs and MINIs. Cars are available for pick-up and drop-off anywhere in the boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Haringey and Waltham Forest. Further expansion into adjoining London boroughs is planned, as well as up to 20 new cities worldwide.


Shared Electric Bike Programme

The Department for Transport has made £700k of funding available to cities, rural areas and tourism hotspots to develop shared Electric Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) networks. The project is now open to expressions of interest with a closing date of midday on 12 June 2015.

We are inviting Expressions of Interest from organisations that are interested in implementing innovative shared EAPC projects, including:

- Local authorities – including National Park Authorities

- Community groups or networks

- EAPC or bike hire operators

- Car club operators

- Other transport operators

- Other organisations relevant to the aims; these might include social housing providers or public health trusts.

Guidance for submitting Expressions of Interest can be found on the Carplus Website


Developing Car Clubs in England Programme

The Developing Car Clubs in England (DCCE) Programme is now open for a second round of bidding for new and innovative projects involving car clubs in England. Carplus is inviting bids, which demonstrate some new thinking and ideas. We are looking to build on the initial success of the first round of projects and the new projects that came online in April 2015. Projects will need to be delivered by 31 March 2016. Further information can be found on the website here.

The selection process will follow a similar pattern to the first round of bidding with Expression of Interest submissions by 6 July 2015 followed by a round of Detailed Proposals giving further information about the project, to be submitted by Midday 14 August 2015. The funding for the programme will be released to successful projects from October 2015.


Harbury Electric Car Club launch

Harbury Energy Initiative had a sunny launch for their all-electric car club in Warwickshire on 13 May. A village just outside Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Harbury has an active community. The car club is based at the community library, which is run by volunteers and also houses a volunteer run café and playgroup.

In partnernship with E-Car Club, Harbury Energy Initiative is working to bring a sustainable transport solution to the community. They launched with two Renault Zoes. The opening ribbon was cut by Sofia Edwards, a local school pupil, who designed the new logo for the Harbury Energy Initiative.

The ribbon is cut for the Harbury Energy Initiative Car Club.  

Will Peter Kay make lift sharing normal (as well as funny)?

When a main stream comedian finds his vehicle is actually a car share, there’s bound to be an increase in awareness of the sector.

Peter Kay’s Car Share has been the biggest sitcom to premiere on any channel since 2011, according to reports. The show, which stars Kay and Sian Gibson had 6.85m viewers for the opening episode, with another 2.5m tuning in via BBC iPlayer.

Just in case you’ve not turned on the television (or BBC iPlayer) recently, Peter Kay puts car sharing in the front seat of comedy with this series of 30 minute vignettes set entirely in the front two seats of his Fiat 500, on the way to and from work. It’s gentle, and funny, and also probably adding a new concept to the national psyche.

If you’ve not already read the reviews or watched an episode, click here.


Carplus website relaunched

Carplus has relaunched its website. Our nationwide map of car club cars is now easily accessible from the front page with tools for people who are interested in using car clubs. The rest of the site provides a rich array of information, guidance and resources in a new, clear, format.

Our recent case studies should now be more visible and we will be adding further case studies and project updates as our work across England and Scotland develops.

See more at


Annual Survey

“25% of new London car club members found out about their car club by seeing a car club vehicle on the street”

This and other fascinating facts in the Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs 2014-15


Carplus staff news

We’re excited to announce a further expansion of the Carplus team.

Antonia Roberts is starting as the Development Coordinator for the new Shared Electric Bike programme. Many of you will remember Antonia from her previous roles at Carplus but may not realise that for the last five years, she has been managing the Sustrans UTravelActive project promoting walking and cycling – including electric bike promotion – at the Universities and Hospitals in Leeds. This combination of experience makes for a fantastic addition to the team.

Chris Slade will also be joining us part time in Leeds. He will be helping to build information resources for shared bikes and 2+ car sharing so that we represent better the whole range of shared transport, particularly on our website.

Susan Jeynes has joined Matt Eastwood in the Edinburgh office as the Car Club Development Officer (Scotland). Morag is currently on maternity leave but will work alongside Susan when she returns later this year.


Carplus out and about at the Active Travel Conference, Edinburgh

In his speech at the Active Travel Conference on 26 May, the Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay MSP, identified the Scottish Government’s priorities for facilitating walking and cycling and reducing overall car use. The Minister also highlighted the important role car clubs can play in reducing dependency on private car ownership and use.



Cycle City Active City Conference

25/26 June 2015, Newcastle

Cycle City Active City is a ground-breaking conference and exhibition for all those working to encourage utility cycling, walking and active, healthy lifestyles across Britain.

Town and cities with high levels of cycling, walking, play and sport are fit, fun and work for people. This event shows how we get from potential to reality.

Carplus Assistant Director, Kate Gifford, will be chairing the afternoon session on Friday 26 June: Making Cycle Hire Schemes Successful.

For more information visit the conference website.

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