An Oxfordshire electric car sharing trial has been extended for another six months due to its popularity among the public.

Electric cars provided by Co Wheels, Zimbl, and Enterprise CarClub are rented on an hourly or daily basis.

The pilot scheme operates from council-owned car parks situated in multiple locales across the county.

Bicester, Banbury, Kidlington, Eynsham, Henley, Wallingford, Abingdon, Witney, and Oxford are all home to the initiative.

In collaboration with Oxford City Council and other Oxfordshire district councils, Oxfordshire County Council spearheaded this trial to assess the demand for such a facility.

The success of the venture has seen more than 500 individuals signing up as members and the vehicles hired more than 2,000 times since the inception of the scheme in April 2023.

Oxford Mail: Pete SudburyPete Sudbury (Image: Oxfordshire County Council)

Councillor Pete Sudbury, deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council with responsibility for Climate Change, Environment and Future Generations, said: "I’m extremely pleased to see the positive response to EV car clubs in many of the towns and villages involved in the pilot.

"I welcome the extension to the scheme, which will mean even more residents and businesses can try out these shared cars for themselves.

“Car clubs can play a key role in reducing carbon emissions in Oxfordshire, as well as reducing the number of individual vehicles on our roads and helping people to reduce the cost of living."

A popular car club vehicle can replace an average of 20 individually owned cars, replacing petrol and diesel engines thereby reducing environmental impact.

The continuation of the scheme hinges upon sustained use of the EVs by residents.

If the public response remains positive, current sites could transition into permanent locations for EV car clubs, with the possibility of further implementation across diverse locations.

Eynsham resident Lisa Hynes said: "We have used the Co Wheels car in Eynsham and it’s been brilliant.

"It’s right in the centre of Eynsham and has meant that we haven’t needed to buy an additional car as we can use the Co Wheels car as and when we need it.

"We have really enjoyed driving an electric car too."

The clubs offer residents the chance to experience EVs without ownership, making them more affordable for those who only drive periodically.

Participants can rent EVs from £5.95 per hour, with a 12p per electric mile surcharge.

Information about the closest car club, including promotional offers, can be found on the council’s website.

Data gained from the trial will be used in creating a comprehensive countywide car club strategy set for later this year.