Some of the electric vehicles provided by Co-Wheels

Co Wheels, a pay-as-you-go car hire program, is growing its 400+ vehicle fleet by increasing its electric and hybrid offering at sites across Bristol.

In addition to the eight cars already in operation within the city, Co Wheels is looking to contribute to taking 765 vehicles off the roads in Bristol.

The shift comes amid the prediction that the cost of electric vehicles will soon be as cheap as petrol-powered cars within the next four years, as battery technology improves and manufacturing expands*.

The car club, which currently has over 2,000 members in Bristol, helps drivers save money and create a cleaner environment by making lower emission transport operations available to everyone. With having no fuel charges, the hire of electric vehicles are not only the most eco-friendly but also the lowest cost option, starting from as little as £5.50 an hour.

Richard Falconer, managing director at Co Wheels, said: “There’s a misconception of electric being costly; however, there’s a huge benefit for drivers to make that shift, as it helps to reduce congestion and pollution on the road. The average rental car also has emissions that are 26.6% lower than the average car on the UK’s roads.

“Lower-cost batteries and tax breaks will rapidly help make these models affordable for ordinary motorists rather than just the rich. Co Wheels’ ultimate goal is to reduce the number of privately owned cars on the road, so by offering our customers the chance to ‘try before they buy’, they may then decide to continue using our service.”

Car clubs can provide a wide range of environmental and financial benefits for individuals and society. Co Wheels’ vehicles are commonly used for large shopping trips or young professionals moving home, providing access to low-cost mobility, particularly where public transport and active travel are not suitable.

Laurence Endall, a pay-as-you-go member, said: “Nothing but praise for Co Wheels and the car share scheme in general. Hourly car and van rental should’ve been a thing a long time ago. Booking is simple, prices are very fair and customer service is great.”

Co Wheels is carrying out extra measures of cleaning to protect vehicle users during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every vehicle is professionally cleaned on a regular basis, and all touch surfaces are cleaned with a new disinfectant once a month that keeps surfaces germ-free for up to 30 days.