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Community Led Electric Car and Bike Club - Survey Launched

Local residents, businesses and community organisations are being asked for their views on establishing a community-led electric car and bike club for West Devon via a short online survey.

White electric car and electric bicycle with orange logo facing each other on street in front of shop windows

This survey is being promoted with West Devon Borough Council and would give affordable access to electric cars for everyone, whilst also supporting the shift to zero carbon transport. 

West Devon Borough Council declared a Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency on 21 May 2019 and the Council is working hard to reduce the Borough'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%. 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 Borough, 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.

West Devon Borough Council's Lead Member for Natural Environment, Cllr Lynn Daniel, said: "This is a perfect opportunity for West Devon residents to gain access to electric technology at a fraction of the cost. Electric vehicles are the way forward but not everyone has the money to invest. The prices are still too high for much of the population, so this is a fantastic compromise. 

"I'd encourage residents to get involved in this survey so we can find out if you agree that sharing cars and bikes is a great option and the way forward for Climate Change. It seems like a win-win to me!"

The survey is available from 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. The results of the survey will not only help establish the viability of the project but will also be shared with West Devon Borough Council to assist their planning.

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 West Devon 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." 

Issued: 13 July 2021

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