First UK electric car club powered by Renault

ZOE and celebrities (Image: Renault)
ZOE and celebrities (Image: Renault)

Plug-in pioneers Renault will be powering the UK’s first 100 per cent electric city car club.  E-Car Club, which launched in East London today before a nationwide roll-out, will allow businesses to reduce the cost and footprint of their fleets, make electric vehicles available to local communities, and tackle the growing problem of urban air pollution.

E-Car club already has a fleet of five electric Renaults, with more due to arrive soon. This means that members have the opportunity to drive Renault ZOE, the world’s first affordable, purpose-built all-electric supermini on a pay-per-use basis.

Ben Fletcher, EV Product Manager at Renault UK, said:

“Programmes like E-Car Club are essential because they actually get people behind the wheel. Once you’ve driven an electric vehicle, very few people want to go back because it’s very responsive, quiet, relaxing and well suited to city driving.

On top of that there are real gains to be made in terms of emissions, especially with particulates and smog. By having electric vehicles in the city you stop that kind of pollution at the tail pipe and so have a direct positive impact on air quality and public health.”

The government is committed to making the UK the electric car capital of Europe and the Committee on Climate Change has stated that the ‘car club’ business model could be instrumental in challenging preconceptions and driving the wider adoption of EVs.

Renault currently leads the market in Europe, selling over 34,000 electric vehicles since its first model, Kangoo Van Z.E., hit showrooms in late 2011. It boasts a market share of 47% so far this year.

ZOE and Fluence ZE (Image: Renault)
ZOE and Fluence ZE (Image: Renault)

Striking supermini ZOE is spearheading the marque’s dominance, and is priced from just £13,995 on-the-road after grant, plus battery hire from £70 per month.

The ‘Range OptimiZEr’ package of three major innovations (bi-modal regenerative braking, heat pump and Michelin EnergyTM E-V tyres) helps ZOE deliver the longest range of any purely electric vehicle in its class –  a considerable 130 miles. In real world driving, this is likely to be circa 90 miles, depending on driving style, road and weather conditions, making ZOE a really practical proposition for E-Car Club’s users.

Those renting a ZOE from E-Car Club also won’t have to wait long for the car to charge; thanks to its Chameleon charger, charging can take as little as 30 minutes at a Rapid Charge station.  Charging in one hour is possible at Fast Charge stations, and the car will charge in just 3-4 hours at a standard 7kW public charge point.

They will also be sure of where they’re going and fully entertained on the journey; ZOE’s R-Link comprises a seven-inch embedded tablet in the dashboard with touchscreen display, steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition. It also features a connected store giving access to specific apps and services, as well as email and tweets.

Finally, for added peace of mind, ZOE’s ‘Z.E. Voice’ warns pedestrians of the vehicle’s approach up to speeds of 18 mph – giving drivers greater confidence and helping ZOE stand out even more.

The E-Car Club was founded in 2011, with investment from Sustainable Venture Partners and the Technology Strategy Board, to offer easy, affordable access to low carbon transport for both businesses and communities. The mixed-use model brings together the needs of corporate customers that have costly and carbon-intensive fleet requirements, with those in the local community who want easy and affordable access to low carbon vehicles.

The East London launch builds on the success of two pilot projects: a community-led project in Milton Keynes which started in October 2012 and a partnership with Luton Borough Council earlier this year. The company will be opening similar schemes in Oxford, University of Hertfordshire and Maylands Business Park in the coming months.

Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer, MP for Poplar and Limehouse Jim Fitzpatrick, electric vehicle enthusiast Robert Llewellyn (best known as Kryten from Red Dwarf), and Babu Bhattacherjee, Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at Poplar HARCA were among the guests joining local residents and members of the E-Car Club team for the launch.

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Trevor Larkum 5 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #5826

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Plug-in pioneers Renault will be powering the UK’s first 100 per cent electric city car club.  E-Car Club, which launched in East London today before
    [See the full post at: First UK electric car club powered by Renault]

    #5836

    nickh
    Participant

    Interestingly E-Car club raised some startup capital through Crowdcube last year. I made a small investment in them at that point. They were only in Milton Keynes and using Nissan Leafs back then. I’m pleased to see that they are using Zoe’s now too. It would be interesting to understand their reasons for picking Zoe for this location.

    #5846

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Yes, my office is close to their base in Wolverton, and it was one of their charge points that I couldn’t operate with my charge cards.

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