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Shared mobility news Spring 2013

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 upcoming events.

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Norman Baker strikes a pose in front of the Lakes' new car club

As part of the new DfT Door to Door Strategy, (see Recommended Reads section below), Transport minister, Norman Baker MP, was in Windermere earlier this week, along with Chas Ball, where he was launching a new car club service offered by Co-Wheels in partnership with Go Lakes!

By Easter 2013, the fleet will comprise 8 vehicles all in handy hub locations around the central Lake District: Windermere interchange, Ambleside, Coniston, Hawkshead and Staveley villages. Electric Twizys are available through the Langdale Hotel and Coniston Boating Centre.
There will be a network of 12 publicly accessible charge points around the central Lake District. These are located strategically near accommodation and tourism hubs.
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Norman Baker launches car club in Windermere  

Greenwheels retreat

One of Europe’s largest car-sharing clubs, Greenwheels, based in Rotterdam, is no longer operating in London. In the two boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth where the company set up with a lower cost offer than competitors City Car Club and Zipcar, the take up locally was not felt to be sufficient to justify continued operations.

Greenwheels completed accreditation processes with Carplus and started operations in December 2011. After just over a year of operation the company decided to pull out and with assistance from Carplus ensured that members were offered free membership of an alternative operator in the same borough.

Greenwheels started in the 1990s and has developed a strong presence in the Netherlands; it is also successfully established in some cities in Germany.


Whipcar closes its doors

The pioneer of peer to peer car-sharing in the UK is no longer. Its demise is a sad moment. Whipcar’s innovative matching service and insurance package served to make use of the members’ underused cars by facilitating wider use of downtime.

Why has it so suddenly closed its doors? Well, various reasons have been proffered: Car owning members may have been pricing their cars too high, insurers may have got nervous in our increasingly ‘no win no fee’ environment that has pushed up all motor premiums, or the concept was just slow to take off…

Across the waters in North America and a few other European countries, peer to peer car-sharing is still alive, but as to how well it is doing we are uncertain, but some interesting developments are taking place.

Some service providers have begun to use on-board telematics to overcome the need of renters to meet the owner to collect the keys. For instance RelayRides’ North American operations can make use of cars fitted with GM’s One Star technology.

At Carplus we believe that other car-sharing models will follow on from Whipcar, but it will need an operator with deep pockets to establish something that is profitable and can secure competitively priced insurance.


Two new car clubs in Scotland

April will see the launch of two new community-run Co-wheels franchises; Haddington Easywheels, based in East Lothian and Moffat Co-wheels based in Dumfries and Galloway.

Both of these schemes have been developed with financial and technical assistance provided by the Transport Scotland funded Developing Car Clubs in Scotland (DCCS) programme and will provide their respective communities with access to fuel efficient pay-as-you-drive car club vehicles as an alternative to owning a car or second car.


City Car Club makes a profit

City Car Club has made a trading profit for the first time since its establishment. Over more than a decade of expansion it has required several rounds of shareholder refinancing but it is now looking to continue its expansion in some existing cities and in selected new locations.


Accreditation – Renewals for 2013/14

We will shortly be contacting operators who currently hold accreditation status about their plans to renew and the fees payable. Invoices for the 2013/14 annual accreditation fee for operators to renew their accreditation will be sent out in April.

Non-accredited car clubs interested in applying for accreditation status (or to discuss provisional accreditation) are welcome. You can find out more about the process on our website where you can also download application guidance and forms.

Visit Accreditation sections of the Carplus website.
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Carplus' Annual Survey of Car Club Members 2012/13

The first draft of the 2012 Carplus Annual Survey report is due imminently and will present findings gathered from the 5000 car club members that took part in the survey across the UK, as well as responses from Carplus accredited commercial operators and community car clubs. Early indications are that car clubs have continued to prove their positive environmental benefits and complement the use of other sustainable modes of transport.

The final report will be released in May 2013.

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The Future of Journey Sharing


Google Campus, (near Old Street tube), London – 25th April, 11.00 – 16.30

Journey Sharing is growing. It’s just one response to the fact that the cost of transport, whether bus and rail fares or motoring costs, are rising faster than inflation.

‘The Future of Journey Sharing’ is a one day workshop event dedicated to shaping the future of the journey sharing (or car share) sector.

It will provide an opportunity for service providers, travel planners, commissioning bodies and users to discuss recent research undertaken by Carplus, including the plan to set up a ‘standards body’.
Book your place.
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