Car Club of the Year
Presented to a car club which has provided a cost-effective and flexible alternative to owning/using your own car, and has helped tackle environmental and congestion challenges.
As City Car Club is now owned by Enterprise, Co-wheels is the only independently-owned national car club, and delivers its service in over 60 locations across the UK. 75 electric cars are now available to hire by the hour in 20 towns and cities. Founders Pierre Fox, Richard Falconer and Paul Balmont set up Co-Wheels as a social enterprise which is annually assessed against transparent criteria, upheld by an independent certification panel. In June this year it became the first car club to receive ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status, with over 40 per cent of its UK fleet either electric or hybrid. The first car club to introduce wheelchair accessible vehicles into its fleet has held the Social Enterprise Gold Mark for over five years for being able to demonstrate an excellent standard of practice in business ethics.
Last year saw Europcar on the aquisition trail, snapping up a majority stake in E-Car Club, the pure electric car share club which operates from 20 sites across the UK. Launched in 2013 when founders Chris Morris and Andrew Wordsworth raised £100,000 through crowdfunding, original investors have now seen a tidy return on their stakes. Vehicles are available for hire from just £4.50 per hour including power and insurance, with the all electric fleet made up of the Renault Zoe and Kangoo ZE light commercial, Nissan’s Leaf and the BMW i3. The latest installation, in Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, features a fleet of nine Renault Zoes and one Kangoo van powered by energy generated by the local wind farm. Investment in charging infrastructure by Western Isles Council makes EVs perfectly suited for transport around the island.
The world’s largest car club network currently operates in London, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and Maidstone as well as over 500 cities in eight countries. Owned by Avis since 2013, it is estimated that its global community of over one million members has taken as many as 400,000 personally owned vehicles off the road. A free-floating service where members can pick up and drop off at any location within a set geographical area, was recently launched in Brussels. In the UK, Zipcar has partnered with Volkswagen to form Zipwagen, which provides a fleet of 40 Volkswagen Golf GTE hybrids to members in the London Borough of Westminster and a further 10 throughout the capital. Dedicated charging stations are made available to Zipcar members, bringing sustainable, low and zero-emission driving within the reach of a large number of Londoners.