A new, fully electric car has joined the Henley Car Club fleet. The brand new MG4 (Car of the Year 2023) is the third vehicle available for Car Club members to hire on an hourly or daily basis, alongside two Toyota Yaris Hybrids.
The new MG4, funded by Co-Wheels and co-ordinated by Oxfordshire County Council, has a range of 200 miles, and will be parked in Greys Road Car Park. Henley Car Club members can hire the car from £5.95/hour, with a mileage charge of just 12p (10p cheaper than the other hybrid vehicles).
Henley Car Club (run by Co-Wheels) launched in 2021, making Henley one of the smallest towns in the country to offer a pay-as-you-go car club. Since then, based on the success of the Henley Car Club, Oxfordshire County Council have facilitated the provision of fourteen new electric car club vehicles across Oxfordshire market towns.
The Henley Car Club currently has over 80 members, with hopes that the new vehicle will boost numbers even further. Dave McEwen, from Greener Henley, said, “I think there are a lot of people who will be excited, like me, at the idea of being able to have an electric car. One of the things that we are looking for in terms of who we target is people who use a car occasionally. Occasionally might be once or twice a week, once or twice a month, or one or twice a year. It’s when the car spends most of its time sitting in a parking spot. If that’s the case, you’re paying all this money in terms of depreciation, servicing, all of those things, and you’ve got the hassle, where you could just pay for one when you want it.”
Henley Mayor, Michelle Thomas, commented, “I’m speaking with my Chair of Planning hat on now. Whenever there is an application to turn a commercial space into residential, we always say, but where are they going to park. The planning authority come to us and say it’s a sustainable location because we have a railways station, and good buses, and everything is pretty much walkable, but everyone always turns up with two cars. This is just an extra string of the bow to say, you don’t need your cars, there aren’t enough parking places in Henley anyway for residents’ parking permits, so get yourself a subscription for Co-Wheels and be green at the same time.”
Tony Hoskins, Chair of the Climate Emergency Working Group, agreed, “It’s very important that people in Henley can see this type of vehicle. It’s a demonstration that it’s not just individuals taking an approach, but the Council is taking an approach as well, and that’s important. You’ve got to have a sign for local residents that this is the way we are going, and we have to do that not just because of the climate emergency, but to cover things like air pollution and have a better way of life.”
Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said about the new car, “It’s really good news, and it’s part of our green agenda. It’s another piece of the jigsaw for reducing pollution and improving air quality, and making Henley greener.”
Dave McEwen said about the Henley Car Club’s aims, “We think that there are a lot of people in the town that are looking to do what they can to reduce their environmental impact and cut their carbon emissions. One of those options is to car share. I believe that having our first fully electric car helps to embed car sharing as part of the Henley townscape and look forward with confidence. Our vision is for a range of Car Club cars across the town so that every resident & business is within a short walk of a car. We hope to add an electric van to the fleet in the near future and then a 5th vehicle close to the station. Then we can encourage visitors to the town to travel by train and hire a car club car if they want to explore the surrounding countryside.”
Research estimates that each car club car eventually replaces up to 20 individually owned cars. All Henley Car Club cars are zero or low emission (either fully electric or hybrid), helping to improve air quality and cut pollution locally.
According to Henley Car Club, if you need a car for less than 6000 miles per year, you could well save money by switching to a pay-as-you-go car. For a limited time, Co-Wheels are offering free sign up (worth £25), free one-year membership (worth £60 a year) and £10 driving credit. Go to www.co-wheels.org.uk/henley and enter the promo code: Henley10.