Earlier this month, London saw the launch of the UK’s first ever electric-car hire scheme. The initiative, run by Streetcar, the country’s biggest pay-as-you-go car-sharing club, is to offer members a specially adapted Toyota Prius at rates starting from £5.95 an hour. If the trial proves a hit with club members, Streetcar plans to roll out extra electric cars throughout the capital to meet demand.
The joint venture, led by Camden Council and Transport for London, is backed by mayor Boris Johnson and introduces the adapted Prius as one of 1,200 pay-as-you-go vehicles in the fleet available to the club’s 58,000 members. The customized Prius, known as the Amberjac, costs around £36,000 to buy, and represents the club’s first entry into environmentally friendly transport.
Speaking about the scheme, Brett Akker, the co-founder of Streetcar, told reporters: ‘Our membership is expected to rise to 250,000 by 2012, as more and more people recognise the environmental and cost benefits of joining a car club,’ also adding, ‘Once they have joined we want to offer them the best possible service. Our members will be the first people in Europe to be able to hire a car with this electric technology.’