Strathaven residents will have the opportunity to drive an eco-friendly electric car for an hour for only £1 following the launch of a community vehicle sharing scheme dubbed ‘the Air BnB for cars.’

Karshare has partnered with community pressure group Climate Action Strathaven (CAS) to lease out a Renault Zoe – a 100 per cent electric car – helping the local community to reduce carbon emissions in the area.

The move is down to a £23,000 grant secured from the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund, and will help cement Strathaven’s sustainability credentials.

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For the first month, local residents are being offered the opportunity to hire the Zoe for one hour for £1, giving them a chance to experience driving an electric car and the community vehicle sharing concept, before committing to the scheme.

Following the introductory £1 offer, Strathaven locals can hire Zoe out whenever they choose at a daily cost of £38.

Climate Action Strathaven chairman, Tom Barbour

In addition, car owners in the town can boost their household income by up to £550 a month by hiring out their own car to others, giving renters the freedom of access to a vehicle without the hassle of ownership.

Not only can car sharing help motorists save costs, it can also tackle climate change through the reduction of general car ownership.

Karshare enables people to share their cars with others in their community, fully insured and covered for breakdown.

It offers owners the capability of supplementing household income and gives renters the ability to hire a car affordably and easily using their mobile phone.

In addition, with keyless technology, there is no need for a key exchange, keeping the process contact-free.

Tom Barbour, of CAS, told Lanarkshire Live: “We were thrilled to be awarded the grant which has enabled us to bring the Zoe to the local area.

"Becoming more environmentally friendly is talked about a lot, but we like to focus on bringing practical solutions to our community, as opposed to just a lot of chatter.

“We wanted to find the simplest and easiest way to share Zoe with our community and the Karshare platform was perfect. It makes sharing cars incredibly easy.

"Not only can locals now experience driving an eco-friendly electric car, they can also make additional money from hiring out their own vehicles, or hire a car from someone in their community, meaning they may no longer need to own their own vehicle.”

The pioneering community vehicle sharing scheme which launches on Saturday is the latest initiative from Green Street-based CAS. Since the group’s launch in January 2020, it has implemented a number of projects designed to reduce emissions locally and inspire and influence other communities, as well as demanding heightened action from politicians.

Keen cyclist and Climate Action Strathaven member, Elspeth Wilson

Last year, CAS conducted a car survey, which counted 2083 cars leaving Strathaven in a three-hour period.

Following a subsequent survey of attitudes towards cycling, a pop-up bike repair facility opened at the Town Mill and, six months ago, the group acquired an eCargo bike.

Graeme Banister, partnerships director with Karshare

Hailing the Strathaven initiative as “inspiring,” Karshare partnerships director Graeme Banister said cars are having a "huge impact" on how environmentally friendly our towns and cities are.

He told Lanarkshire Live: "When cars are shared, up to 14 others are no longer needed. Electric cars and car sharing are leading the revolution in how we drive, offering a new, smarter way to access rather than own a car.

“We had our first person hire Zoe out the other week, and we’re also seeing lots of enquiries coming through from people who are interested in listing their cars for hire as well.

"For anyone who is on the fence, we’re offering an hour’s car hire for just £1 during our launch month so they can experience first hand how easy and simple the process is.

“The past few months have made us all evaluate our daily lives and many people are realising they simply don’t need their vehicle as much as they once did. In fact, cars sit idle for 96 per cent of the time.

"It makes financial and environmental sense to hire them out.

“It’s inspiring to see what CAS has achieved. They have made a real difference to their community, and we’re on a joint mission to decrease car usage through sharing.”

To either list your car or learn more about hiring a car out, head to the website or the CAS office at 5 Green Street, Strathaven.

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