Elgin Car Club gears up thanks to Osprey Housing Moray
Mr David and Mrs Melanie Smith with Jane McWhirr from Osprey Housing in the middle.
The people of Elgin now have access to a car club which allows members to rent electric cars on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. The initiative comes from Osprey Housing Moray, part of the Osprey Housing Group and one of the region’s leading Housing Associations. The Car Club, which is managed and run by Co-wheels, launched on Wednesday 13th November and is the first car club in the town.
The club will operate two fully electric Renault Zoe cars from their base in Osprey’s car park just off Pinefield Crescent in Elgin.
The launch event drew an interested crowd, keen to find out more about membership and have a closer look at the electric cars and charging points. REAP Scotland were also on hand to provide advice on energy efficiency. The first twenty new members also received an additional driving credit and were entered into a prize draw.
Car Club membership is open to both Osprey Housing’s own tenants and the wider community. Anyone who has held a full driving licence for 12 months and has six or fewer points on their licence can join. Drivers aged 21 or under must hold a clean licence. Membership includes insurance, and an online or app based booking facility with a smartcard access system allowing members to collect the car 24 hours a day. So, after booking, members can simply, pick up a car and then return it to the charging station after their hire. There are also Co-wheels sites in Huntly and at 28 locations in Aberdeen, along with numerous other UK locations.
Jane McWirr, Osprey Housing Group’s Sustainability Officer commented: “This is a great opportunity for anyone who can drive but wants to avoid the expense of owning and maintaining a car. It could save members hundreds, if not thousands of pounds each year, since there’s no need to pay for road tax, insurance, servicing or the expense of buying or leasing a car.
“As well as the obvious benefits for air quality and sustainability, the car club will fill the gap as a more flexible option when public transport may not be suitable, for drivers who just need a car occasionally, or when the family car is being used elsewhere. It’s also a chance to discover the benefits of electric cars, especially since the Scottish Government hopes to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032”.
The funding for the project was provided by Plugged in Households, a programme jointly managed by Transport Scotland and the Energy Saving Trust. Osprey’s Car Club is amongst the first project to receive this funding, which covered the initial cost of the charging point and running expenses for the first year, after which, it is hoped the project will be self-funded.
For any readers of the Northern Scot who missed the launch event, you can sign up to the Car Club by going to www.co-wheels.org.uk and using the Northern Scot promo code: OSPREY25, which will allow you to join for just £1 and get £25 driving credit, no monthly minimum spend and a 25% discount for 12 months.
For more articles please visit our News and Events section.