Residents in County Durham can now hire an electric vehicle for the day, as part of a new car club service.
Durham County Council has been working with Derwent Valley Car Club to help it launch a new electric vehicle hire service in Shotley Bridge.
The car club has three fully electric cars available to borrow, which residents can hire for an hour up to a full day.
In conjunction with the launch, an electric vehicle charge point has been installed on Front Street in Shotley Bridge, where one of the vehicles is based. The remaining two vehicles are based in Rowlands Gill and Blackhall Mill.
It costs £5 a month to join the scheme and the hire rate is £4 per hour for the first three hours, then £3 for every hour after that, or £30 to hire the car for a day. There is no geographical limit as to who can join the scheme.
Volunteer drivers from the club are also available to use the car to take people to hospital appointments.
Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, met the club to officially open the scheme.
He said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with Derwent Valley Car Club to help it launch its electric vehicle car club scheme. Every car club vehicle can remove up to 20 non-electric cars off the road and will create a new option for residents who are looking to switch to greener modes of transport.
“The service has been set up particularly to help families who have returned to workplaces on a hybrid-basis, where they no longer need to run two cars every day and can borrow an electric vehicle as they need from the club.
“Over time we hope to be able to roll this scheme out further across the county, working with partners like Derwent Valley Car Club which are doing a truly amazing job.”
The electric vehicle hubs have been funded by Scaling On-Street Charging Infrastructure (SOSCI), which has given money to allow the council to install a minimum of 100 electric vehicle charge points across the county.
The council is also asking residents to take part in a survey to establish the need for electric vehicle car clubs in the county, with a view to rolling out the scheme to other areas. Residents can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or take part in the survey online at https://forms.gle/5gQ7snN254BaudvJ9
More information on Derwent Valley Car Club is available at www.ourgateshead.org/derwent-valley-car-club