Car sharing business Zipcar partnering with Westminster City Council and Volkswagen UK is set to bring premium zero-emission driving to Londoners.
Fifty Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid electric cars are now available to Zipcar members, with 40 cars located in the City of Westminster and 10 additional cars elsewhere in London, such as Tower Bridge and Old Oak. To make this possible, Westminster City Council has installed new charging infrastructure in 40 of their car club parking bays.
One in 10 UK car club members have now used an electric vehicle, up from four percent in 2014/15, according to the latest Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs. For those members who haven’t yet used an electric vehicle, 89% expressed an interest in trying one.
Westminster City Council residents recently named air pollution as their biggest concern, ahead of other local issues. Westminster is also bidding for funds to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone and recently introduced an ‘air force’ of parking marshals to educate people about the impact of engine idling.
By making GTE available to Zipcar members at the same hourly rate of £7 per hour as a petrol Volkswagen Golf, members have another compelling reason to choose zero-emission vehicles for their urban trips. It will also mean thousands of Zipcar members will experience electric driving for the first time.
The appeal of the Volkswagen Golf GTE is that it is a technologically advanced car with a superior engine and yet is as familiar to drive as the petrol Golf. When started, it will automatically default to electric vehicle mode. All 50 cars support Apple’s CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM so that members can enjoy phone features such as maps or music through the GTE’s in-built display.
Mark Walker, Zipcar UK General Manager, said:
“At Zipcar, we are all about simple and responsible urban living. The Volkswagen Golf GTE fully supports that ethos and is ideal for our members.
The combination of pure electric vehicle driving in the city and full flexibility to escape anywhere in the country, without compromise, is compelling. We believe our members will thoroughly enjoy driving this car in electric mode and will become keen advocates for electric vehicle driving in London.”
Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for parking and sustainability said:
“Electric vehicles are key to helping address pollution. Giving more people the chance to drive an electric car in London, and on a shared basis, is a big step towards creating a greener city.
“We are delighted that residents and visitors to Westminster will have the opportunity to try out these vehicles.
“Car sharing makes so much sense in central London, where a private car is not often needed.”