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Local residents, businesses and community organisations are being asked for their views on establishing a community-led electric car and bike club for the South Hams via a short online survey.
The survey is being promoted by South Hams District Council and would give affordable access to electric cars for everyone, whilst also supporting the shift to zero carbon transport.
South Hams District Council declared a Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency on 21 May 2019 and the Council is working hard to reduce the district's carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. As part of that aim, the council continues to work with partners to drive forward that commitment.
Since the announcement of the Government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, interest in electric cars has surged by 500 percent. However, they remain too expensive for many people. In addition, one third of households cannot charge a car at home.
An electric car club would address these challenges by locating cars across the district, bookable from as little as half an hour for one all-inclusive price. This would give members access to electric cars without having to own one.
Furthermore, by switching to using an electric car club and getting rid of a little used personal vehicle, members could save money whilst also helping reduce issues related to congestion, parking and pollution.
The survey also asks if respondents would be interested in an electric bike share scheme. Because they are electrically assisted, the bikes are a great alternative to the car for many shorter trips including commuting, everyday errands and leisure trips.
South Hams District Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, Cllr Tom Holway, said: "This could be a fantastic scheme that would make electric transport accessible to everyone. Not everyone has the means to buy this type of technology and this really could offer South Hams’ residents the opportunity to have access to electric technology. I urge residents to share their views on this exciting scheme in the survey.”
The survey is available at https://bit.ly/ElectricSHams and is open until 24 August 2021.
The survey is being run in partnership with Co Cars car club, a social enterprise that has an established network of low and zero emission cars across the South West. The company also runs the Co Bikes electric bike sharing scheme.
Mark Hodgson, Managing Director of Co Cars, said: “Over the last 12 months, we have seen a huge surge of interest in our shared, electric cars and bikes from communities across the region.
“We’re really excited to see if we can bring them to the South Hams as they would give people access to the latest technology at an affordable price, helping them save money and hassle when compared to owning a car.”
The results of the survey will not only help establish the viability of the project but will also be shared with South Hams District Council to assist their planning.
For more information, visit www.co-cars.co.uk and www.co-bikes.co.uk
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