London Launches First Electric Car Hire Scheme in UK

Earlier this week, London launched Britain’s first ever electric car hire scheme.  The initiative, run by Streetcar, the country’s largest pay-as-you-go car-sharing club, will offer members a specially adapted Toyota Prius at rates starting from £5.95 (just under $10) an hour.

If the trial proves a hit with club members, Streetcar plans to roll out extra electric cars throughout the capital to meet rising demand.

The joint initiative, led by Camden council and Transport for London, is backed by flamboyant mayor Boris Johnson and introduces the adapted Prius as one of the 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 ($58,000), represents the club’s first entry into environmentally friendly transport.

Speaking about the scheme, Brett Akker, the co-founder of Streetcar, told reporters: “Our members are 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 and our members will be the first people in Europe to hire a car with this electric technology.”

Image Credit – doug88888 on flickr

Andrew Williams

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.