People in Kingsbridge could be able to hire an electric car while helping to fight climate change.

As part of its Climate and Nature Strategy, Kingsbridge Town Council has been looking at the possibility of the town’s households having easy hire access to a community owned electric car (EV) that would support the wider required move to EVs. The project would, all being well:

- Provide Kingsbridge households with an alternative to owning/leasing a car or second car etc. reducing car manufacturing requirements and providing for minimal emission driving;

- Provide easy access to EV driving for Kingsbridge households without a car or without facilities to own/lease a car;

- Provide Kingsbridge households with an easy opportunity to experience driving an electric car to encourage future car purchases to be of electric vehicles;

- Make provision to enable the town’s taxi services to more easily become EV based as and when.

Town Councillor Paul Vann emphasised that it’s very early days yet with discussions needed with the town’s car hire and taxi businesses (as well as the District and County Council) and then, if appropriate, more detailed consideration of costs and potential funding partners.

KTC had previously looked at the idea with Co-Cars but unfortunately the company went into administration.

The scheme is likely to need funding of between £35,000 and £45,000 which would come from Kingsbridge Town Council, South Hams District Council and Devon County Council.

The three councils would jointly own the vehicle in proportion to their contribution.

The vehicle itself would be relatively low-cost such as a MG4 EV.

South Hams District Council would provide a highly visible parking space at the bus station which would also have the potential to extend charging facilities to taxi parking spaces for future E-taxi services.

The idea is that people will be able to book the car online with a driver checking facility and an agreement would be signed with a locally-based hire company to support the operation and provide back up in exchange for a significant slice of the rental income. The remainder of the income would be used to support new EV charging facilities in Kingsbridge including for taxi operations.

According to EDF: ‘‘Electric cars are ever more appealing in a world where reducing carbon emissions and pollution is a growing concern for many people. Research has shown that electric cars are better for the environment. They emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their life than petrol or diesel cars. This is even after the production of the vehicle and the generation of the electricity required to fuel them is considered.’’

With no tailpipe, pure electric cars produce no carbon dioxide emissions when driving. This reduces air pollution.’’