- 50 cutting-edge Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid electric cars now available to Zipcar members from £7 per hour, the same hourly rate as a petrol Volkswagen Golf
- Largest fleet of car share plug-in hybrid electric cars in London with dedicated charging points
- 40 cars located on-street in the City of Westminster, with new charging infrastructure
- 10 cars located elsewhere in London, including Tower Bridge and Old Oak
- Thousands of Zipcar members will be able to experience electric driving for the first time
London, 7th June 2016 – Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing network, has partnered with Westminster City Council and Volkswagen UK to bring premium zero-emission driving to Londoners at an affordable price. Fifty cutting-edge Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid electric cars are now available to Zipcar members, with 40 cars located in the City of Westminster and 10 additional cars elsewhere in London, such as Tower Bridge and Old Oak. To make this possible, Westminster City Council has installed new charging infrastructure in 40 of their car club parking bays.
One in 10 UK car club members have now used an electric vehicle, up from four percent in 2014/15, according to the latest Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs. For those members who haven’t yet used an electric vehicle, 89% expressed an interest in trying one.
Westminster City Council residents recently named air pollution as their biggest concern, ahead of other local issues. Westminster is also bidding for funds to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone and recently introduced an ‘air force’ of parking marshals to educate people about the impact of engine idling.
By making the innovative Volkswagen Golf GTE available to Zipcar members from £7 per hour, the same hourly rate as a petrol Volkswagen Golf, members have another compelling reason to choose zero-emission vehicles for their urban trips. It will also mean thousands of Zipcar members will experience electric driving for the first time.
The Golf GTE offers the best of both worlds for Zipcar members so that more people can choose electric. Whether it’s for short, local trips, such as food shopping or driving a relative to a hospital appointment, pure electric driving means zero emissions in the city. For those weekends when a break from the city is needed or the summer months inspire a trip to the beach, members can be safe in the knowledge that they have the full range and efficiencies of petrol hybrid driving.
The appeal of the Volkswagen Golf GTE is that it is a technologically advanced car with a superior engine and yet is as familiar to drive as the petrol Golf. When started, it will automatically default to electric vehicle mode. All 50 cars support Apple’s CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM so that members can enjoy phone features such as maps or music through the GTE’s in-built display.
Mark Walker, Zipcar UK General Manager, said, “At Zipcar, we are all about simple and responsible urban living. The Volkswagen Golf GTE fully supports that ethos and is ideal for our members. The combination of pure electric vehicle driving in the city and full flexibility to escape anywhere in the country, without compromise, is compelling. We believe our members will thoroughly enjoy driving this car in electric mode and will become keen advocates for electric vehicle driving in London.
Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said: “Electric vehicles are key to helping address pollution. Giving more people the chance to drive an electric car in London, and on a shared basis, is a big step towards creating a greener city.
“We are delighted that residents and visitors to Westminster will have the opportunity to try out these vehicles.
“Car sharing makes so much sense in central London, where a private car is not often needed.”
The Car Club Strategy for London announced last May by London Councils, GLA and TfL targeted 50% of car-share fleets to be electric vehicles by 2025.
Zipcar is the world’s leading car sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. With its wide variety of self-service vehicles available by the hour or day, Zipcar operates in urban areas and university campuses in over 500 cities and towns across Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Zipcar offers the most comprehensive, most convenient and most flexible car sharing options available. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a leading global provider of vehicle rental services. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.
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About Westminster City Council
In 2015 Westminster City Council launched its Greener City Action Plan, which sets out how London can become a more sustainable city.
The council is taking a leading role in tackling the city’s key environmental issues, such as poor air quality. The Greener City Action Plan will do this by encouraging more low-carbon development, creating green jobs, supporting businesses to use energy sustainably, and making the best of the city’s great open and green spaces.
In addition to the new car club charging points there are 54 electric vehicle charging points in Westminster, the most of any London borough.
 The Volkswagen Golf GTE hybrid can drive up to 31 miles fully electric charged
 Combined with the 31 miles of electric driving, the petrol hybrid has a range of 580 miles