AN electric car powered by solar power generated in Rose Hill could herald the start of a renewable energy revolution in Oxford.

The vehicle, which is available to hire as part of a car sharing club, is based at Rose Hill Community Centre and links up to the estate's solar energy grid.

It means the car is charged by sun rays shining onto solar panels on the roof of the community centre, providing an environmentally-friendly form of transport.

Andy Edwards of Bioregional, a company that promotes more sustainable living, worked with car club Co-wheels to get the car based in Rose Hill.

He believes it can be the start of a new form of car club in the city.

Mr Edwards said: "We would like a whole fleet of these cars across Oxford.

"It could be used with solar panels on the roof of the Mini plant or on the roofs of primary schools.

"We could link up renewable energy to transport.

"We would like to see more and more of them installed."

Mr Edwards led Energy Resources for Integrated Communities in Rose Hill, known as Project ERIC.

It was launched in the estate in March 2016 and 80 homes as well as the primary school and community centre are now linked up.

Every building has a battery and solar panel installed, connecting them to a renewable energy grid.

Each battery stores any excess energy generated, so when householders are not at home on a sunny day nothing is wasted.

Some of the excess energy generated at the community centre is stored in the big battery inside the electric car.

Mr Edwards said: "It is charging up when there is too much solar energy from the roof of the community centre.

"This is one extra component to the grid we are trying to create in Rose Hill.

"We want to enable the community to use more solar energy.

"The car is a big battery and it can play the same role as the 80 houses which are part of ERIC."

Mr Edwards added the next stage was to develop software to enable the car to be charged when it best suited its users.

It can be booked at any time by those signed up to Co-wheels, which has 30 cars in Oxford and thousands of others across the country.

He said: "The thing we are most interested in is developing software to charge the car.

"The software should be able to see if Mrs Jones has booked the car for 7.30pm to take her aunt to the shop and know that it needs to be fully charged for then."

To book the car visit