More than 250 signed up to electric car-sharing scheme
MORE than 250 people signed up to an electric car-sharing club within five days of the scheme launching – and a fleet of 100 electric bikes is due to be introduced in a matter of months.
Michael Burrows, director of Evie, said he has been pleased with the initial take-up of cars but added that it was up to Islanders to ensure the initiative’s success.
The vehicles, stationed at Halkett Place and the Parade, can be booked and unlocked through a dedicated app and used at a cost of £7.50 an hour.
And within months, an app-controlled electric bike-sharing scheme with ‘virtual docking stations’ is due to be rolled out.
‘We have around 100 arriving in the spring and we are obviously very keen to work with the parish of St Helier to ensure they are used properly and are not left where they should not be left,’ Mr Burrows said. ‘They will be dockless bikes, charged at around £1 for every ten minutes and there seems to have been a good amount of enthusiasm towards the idea so far.
‘We will be creating virtual docking stations, so as long as you leave the bike within 5sq m of the station then you do not incur an additional charge.
‘Also, for example, if someone tries to ride one down a slipway and onto the beach the electric drive will stop and then after ten minutes the brakes will gradually come on and it cannot be ridden any further. They are intelligent bikes.’
Mr Burrows added that his company had plans to add a further 14 electric cars to his existing fleet of six before the end of the year.
‘If we can get them in the right locations, such as opposite the bus station, then people will understand that they can go to work on the bus and then if, for example, they need to go to a meeting or move a piece of furniture, then there is a car at the bus station for them,’ he said.
‘We have got to get the following and subscription building and then we can get more cars. So far, it has been pretty encouraging. People are obviously buying into the concept and buying into the idea.’
However, Mr Burrows said the ongoing success of the scheme depended upon the support of Islanders.
‘It is a challenging business but the car-sharing clubs that have made a future for themselves have all done it for the right reasons – with the intention of having fewer cars on the road and making the world carbon neutral,’ he said.
‘Its success all depends on the good people of Jersey. We will get the cars, put them in the right locations and put in the charging points, but if the scheme is under-utilised we will struggle.
‘But if people do use then we should be able to cover our costs.’
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