Co-wheels car club is a system which enables you to have access to a shared car in over 60 locations throughout the UK, these include hybrid, electric cars and vans. They allow you to have all the advantages of a car without the downsides of owning your own.
It works on a pay as you go basis and is now available in Orkney (Orkney ZE Car Club). This follows on from a successful bid to the Energy Saving Trust’s Plugged-in Household Grant Fund. There shall be two BMW i3s and a Nissan e-NV200 combi, which has seven seats, being made available as electric car club vehicles at three locations across the Orkney Mainland for a 12-month pilot project. The vehicles shall be located at Holm Community Centre in St Mary’s, Somerville Square in Kirkwall, and Smiddybrae House in Dounby and are just waiting for the charging points to be installed for everything to be up and running.
The rates start from as little as £5.50 per hour and from £38.50 per day and come with insurance and fuel provided. It has the added bonus for Orkney Housing Association Ltd tenants of a 25% discount in the first 12 months when you use the promo code OHAL25. There is a £1 joining fee which comes with a £25 driving credit (promo code SCOTLAND25) and there is no monthly minimum spend. Once you sign up you have access to all vehicles available across the UK. co-wheels.org.uk/join
I went for a little test drive in one of the BMW i3s car and was instantly struck with how smooth it was. It’s take off speed was impressive and I was intrigued, as there was no gear stick, just a drive selector. Like any automatic there were only two peddles, one for acceleration and one for braking, however in normal driving situation, when approaching a junction you can just remove your foot from the accelerator for your car to slow down, this has the added benefit of recharging the battery at the same time through wheel friction. The brake can therefore be reserved for emergency situations or as you feel it is needed. What a shame I don’t drive!
I caught up with Tony Archer, Scottish Manager of Co-wheels car club and Robert Leslie, Energy Officer of Orkney Housing association Ltd:
For more information and locations available throughout the UK and go to co-wheels.org.ok
To find out more information about the cars contact Orkney Housing Association Ltd
Reported by Helen Armet
Photos and video by Kenny Armet.