Melville Housing Association set up its first zero emission car club in late 2019 after successfully applying for Plugged-in Communities funding, formerly known as Plugged-in Households. Five fully electric vehicles are now available to hire across Midlothian, providing tenants and local residents with a low-carbon, zero emission transport option.
A forward thinking organisation
The housing association is keen to be a more sustainable organisation and believe it’s important to lead the way in green initiatives. Participating in Plugged-in Communities is just one way of working towards this goal. Working closely with their chosen car club operator (E-Car Club) the association found the grant application process very straightforward. They were also able to apply for additional funding from Energy Saving Trust to install four charge points.
Benefits for everyone
The car club was launched in October 2019. The club is free to join and bookings can be made online, via the app, by text or over the phone. Tenants, staff and the wider community have embraced the scheme since its launch. In the first six months they have seen a steady increase in bookings and hours used month on month. Even as lockdown was announced in March 2020, the cars were made available for free to those helping out local communities.
Feedback has been very positive, with many repeat bookings. First time users of electric cars have commented on their pleasant driving experience and would now consider buying their own electric vehicle in the future. The cars are located in Dalkeith, Mayfield, Gorebridge, Bonnyrigg and Penicuik.
“One of our tenants has found the club incredibly helpful as she is now able to drive her husband to and from hospital, saving them time and money compared to using buses or taxis.”
Dan Hughes, project manager
Melville Housing Association accessed a Plugged-in Communities grant, delivered by Energy Saving Trust and funded by Transport Scotland to help with the cost of setting up an electric car club for its tenants and the wider local community.