Developing a low emission car club in Newport

Newport

In early 2014 Carplus published a plan for a low emission car club for Newport, including a high proportion of electric vehicles.

Demonstration vehicles at the Riverfront Theatre, Newport.

Consultation took place with public sector employers and businesses in the city, including an event at the Riverside Theatre (photo). The project was co-ordinated by Newport Unlimited (now superceded by ReNewport) for Newport City Council and research undertaken by Carplus, working with GFleet Services Ltd.

The plan involved the council switching as much as 25% of its annual business travel mileage to a pool of (largely) electric vehicles, saving on costs and improving air quality.

Locating these cars in convenient parking/recharging places in and round the city centre would make it attractive for other employers in the city to follow suit and enjoy the benefits. The pool would also include hybrids and other low emission petrol vehicles.

Sparking up a network

Carplus prepared detailed proposals for funding the project. The plan included dedicated parking and recharging points for shared EVs in the city centre and at a few strategic points in the borough, where you would be able to collect and return vehicles – whether you as an employee or a resident (or both).

With a high proportion of the pool of vehicles available for local residents and visitors it was hoped that Newport would emulate Cardiff as a city with shared transport as an option.

One option, for the scheme to be base a number of cars at or close to Newport station, was felt by several employers to be a real advantage.

It was also proposed that a prestige residential development currently in the planning stage would also be served by the proposed car club, at the Old Town Dock. Here, shared use of EVs is anticipated as part of the roll out plan and overnight charging will be part of the development’s design.

The project is included in future plans for ReNewport, the economic task force for the city.