Car-sharing operator Zipcar and the Westminster City Council in London have launched a new car sharing club fleet that will initially include 20 hybrid vehicles and will offer members access to the country’s first all-electric car club vehicle, a Citroen c1.
Motorists will have the chance to drive a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius and a Honda Insight Hybrid as well as conventional gasoline cars including a BMW 318 and a Mini Cooper. Other vehicles include a VW Caddy Maxi van and a Toyota Verso people carrier. By September, users will have access to more than 100 vehicles in locations across Westminster including Covent Garden, Mayfair, Soho, Regent’s Park and Marylebone as well as a number of residential areas.
The council and Zipcar are aiming to have 400 vehicles by 2012, approximately 30% of which will be hybrid vehicles. These vehicles all will be located within easy walking distance of homes, offices and work places.
Westminster Council has the largest on-street car recharging service in the UK with 14 dedicated charging points and plans to increase this number to 20 by the end of the year. There are an additional 48 charging points in the council’s secure car parks.
Studies have shown that each car club vehicle removes up to 20 privately owned vehicles, and that members reduce vehicle miles travelled by up to 40%.