Popular car-sharing scheme drives its way to top award

Ellie Grebenik with a Co-Wheels hybrid car

Ellie Grebenik with a Co-Wheels hybrid car Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , covering business and Books Editor. Call me on 01865 425461

SOCIAL enterprise Co-Wheels, which runs car clubs in East and South Oxford, Cowley and Headington, has won a top award.

The company has been named a Social Innovation Pioneer by corporate consultants Deloitte.

Co-Wheels is one of 12 businesses throughout the UK picked because it provides a clear and measurable social impact.

It now has several hundred members in Oxford with 18 cars in different parts of the city and says Oxford is one of its most successful areas. Any profits are ploughed back into expansion.

Ellie Grebenik, regional development co-ordinator for Co-Wheels, said the organisation planned to use the funding to expand its work running car-sharing schemes in new locations in Oxford and nationwide.

She said: “We put an additional car in Marston on a temporary basis and that’s going really well, so we are looking to expand in Marston.

“We are also hoping to get an electric car to put in East Oxford, if the funding comes through.’’ The organisation, based in Newcastle, was approached in 2008 by residents in East Oxford who were keen to set up a car-sharing scheme – partly to ease parking pressure in the narrow streets.

They wanted to encourage motorists to ditch their vehicles and share one instead, to save money and reduce traffic jams.

Members only use the car when they want to and only pay for the miles they drive, instead of the usual ongoing costs of keeping a vehicle.

On average, Co-wheels says, one shared vehicle results in removing around 15 private cars and their emissions from the roads.

Now Co-Wheels will join Deloitte’s Pioneers Programme, which was recognised with a Big Society Award in 2013.

Co-wheels director Richard Falconer said: “We are really delighted to have been selected on to the Pioneers Programme.

"We hope that the programme will give our social enterprise access to really powerful resources and the right connections for us to assess new business opportunities in the future within our sector and to use as a platform from which we can grow and expand our social enterprise.”

Fellow director Pierre Fox added: “Co-Wheels was created in order to reduce the dependence on the car ownership by providing a practical alternative.’’

  • Our top stories:

Oxford pub boss guilty of cocaine plot

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

7:10am Saturday 29th November 2014

A PUB boss and building company director has been found guilty of conspiring to deal cocaine.

Labour hangs onto a trio of seats in Oxford

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Saturday 29th November 2014

LABOUR has comfortably held three council seats in Oxford by-elections this week.

Paedophile from Banbury jailed after being caught for second time with indecent images of children

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

7:00am Saturday 29th November 2014

A PAEDOPHILE who downloaded 12,696 indecent images of children, some as young as 18 months, has been jailed.

West Way campaigners disappointed by approval call

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 29th November 2014

A CAMPAIGN group has been left “disappointed and angry but not surprised” by a report recommending the £100m West Way redevelopment goes ahead.

'Austerity war' killed our brothers, say campaigners

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 29th November 2014

TWO sisters of men who starved to death after having their benefits slashed united for a desperate plea to find out why their brothers died.

Black Friday: Shopping traffic causing chaos around Bicester as police warn to avoid area

Oxford Mail:

1:59pm Friday 28th November 2014

POLICE have urged people to avoid the Bicester area due to heavy traffic into Bicester Village on Black Friday.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:14pm Thu 24 Jul 14

The New Private Eye says...

I have found this scheme supurb. the missus don't let me smoke in the car, and we both have to take care of it. But when you hire one of these , you can smoke and race the hell out of it, all for a few quid. I recommend this to anybody.
I have found this scheme supurb. the missus don't let me smoke in the car, and we both have to take care of it. But when you hire one of these , you can smoke and race the hell out of it, all for a few quid. I recommend this to anybody. The New Private Eye
  • Score: -4

6:13pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Myron Blatz says...

They were sharing cars years ago on Rose Hill, Barton and Blackbird Leys council estates - only instead of the people being given fancy awards, they usually got custodial sentances!
They were sharing cars years ago on Rose Hill, Barton and Blackbird Leys council estates - only instead of the people being given fancy awards, they usually got custodial sentances! Myron Blatz
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree