In the space of less than seven years Park Carpool has evolved into a pioneering community-based car club showcasing more affordable and sustainable transport solutions, including two zero-emissions electric vehicles.
Park Carpool started in 2007 with three cars and 15 members and at present nine cars serve 47 members with the latest acquisitions – an award-winning Nissan Leaf and diminutive two-seater Renault Twizy – promising state-of-the-art electric propulsion, lower running costs and a radically reduced ecological footprint.
The addition of the two electric cars has been facilitated by a grant from Developing Car Clubs Scotland, which is funded by the Scottish Government. The convenience and viability of the electric= car project has also been enhanced by the installation of a charging station in The Park funded by Energy Savings Trust Scotland.
The grant from Developing Car Clubs Scotland has also secured two fuel-efficient petrol-powered economy cars that are proving highly popular with cost-conscious members.
“We also see the Moray Carshare as an example of how we can create a sense of community and fun by sharing resources in a way that benefits all. People get to know each other through the car club.
“The benefits to members are that they save money compared with buying and maintaining their own car, while for some the main advantage is that they have convenient access to a car they could not afford – or justify – on their own.
“Other benefits are that increased awareness of the financial and environmental costs of using a car leads to more conscious choices of the most appropriate vehicle for a particular trip – the options include the electric cars which are ideal for shorter hauls, the two fuel-efficient new-generation runabouts, an estate car and another car with a more powerful engine and a tow hitch.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Moray Carshare, formerly Findhorn Park Carpool, is one of Scotland’s longest standing car clubs and introducing EVs into the fleet will allow car club members the opportunity to drive an EV and experience the benefits for themselves. Electric vehicles can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality and reduce noise pollution.
“The Scottish Government is providing funding support for the car club network across Scotland to help further reduce carbon emissions and inspire individuals to make more sustainable transport choices.”
“In addition to the Moray Carshare project there will soon be a public network of electric car charging points across Moray, which I believe will increase people’s confidence in using electric cars, knowing they can get their vehicle re-charged at a variety of locations.
“The mix of different projects supporting the use of electric vehicles will appeal to different people and help change people’s perceptions and lead to greener travel.”
Developing Car Clubs Scotland is funded by Transport Scotland and delivered by national transport NGO Carplus.
Developing Car Clubs Scotland is keen to see the car club concept expanded both in cities and rural areas, and will monitor the running costs and experiences of participants.