A pilot of shared electric car club vehicles to use on a pay-per-use basis is being trialled in this town.

As part of a collaboration between county, district and city councils, along with commercial car club operator CoWheels, Abingdon is set to see the trial begin in April.

The fully battery electric vehicles, with a range of 150-250 miles, will be available to motorists in the town on a pay-per-use basis for as little as an hour and up to a few days.

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Costs can start from £5 per hour plus a per-mile charge.

In Abingdon, the vehicles will be based at the Cattle Market car park, and West St Helens car park.

Councillor Nathan Ley said: “I’m really pleased the Councils have managed to sort out this collaboration.

“It'll allow people a flexible option to use an EV when they need it, without the commitment of having to buy and store a vehicle which they may only use for occasional trips.

“The fact that the first two EVs will be MGs is also a nice nod to Abingdon's history. I'd urge anyone even remotely curious to sign up and give it a go, and hopefully after the pilot we'll be able to roll out more vehicles at more sites around town, and further accelerate our drive towards decarbonising Abingdon, and Oxfordshire.”

Councillor Helen Pighills added: “I am really pleased that Abingdon car parks have been chosen for this EV car club pilot.

“These days many people are considering giving up car ownership, both out of concern for the environment and because of the costs. Others would like to drive an electric vehicle but find that purchase prices are still too high.

“This initiative using the EV charging points in the Abingdon town centre car parks makes being car free a realistic choice. Not everyone needs to use a car every day but do want the security of knowing one is available for when they do need it. “I hope Abingdon residents will support this pilot scheme."

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said: “Car clubs give a convenient and affordable alternative to car ownership, and these fully electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions and are much better for the environment than petrol or diesel alternatives.

“They can also provide an opportunity for people with petrol or diesel cars to try out an electric vehicle without an ongoing commitment.

“The cars will be fully charged when collected and drivers will need to plug them back in when they return.

“There will be instructions on how to do this on the car operator’s website or in the vehicle.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1