A bid to create electric vehicle car clubs across Wales has been handed a major funding boost by the National Lottery.
The Charge Up Wales project, which will set up the schemes in numerous communities, will benefit from almost £500,000.
Seven new community-owned car clubs will be established.
It is hoped the initiative will significantly reduce carbon emissions across Wales, provide more transport and connection opportunities for those without cars, and help families on lower incomes.
Clubs will be started in the communities of Brecon, Crickhowell, Upper Amman Valley, Kilgetty and Llanteg, Pennard, Pen Llyn, and Penygroes and Llanfyrnach.
They will link up with existing car clubs as part of a campaign to create a Wales-wide network.
Community Energy Wales, the leading partner of the project, stated that this was a chance to “create community solutions to cut carbon emissions and play our part in the fight against the climate disaster.”
The National Lottery said that they were “proud” to support the project and described it as a “powerful way to engage communities all over Wales”.
The national shared transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) hailed the funding award which will “create greener transport opportunities in rural communities”. CoMoUK is one of the partner organisations that will help deliver the project.
Other organisations involved in the project are The Green Valleys, Community Energy Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire Energy, Datblygiadau Egni Gwledig, Awel Aman Tawe, Cwm Arian Renewables, CTA Cymru and TrydaNi.
Rising numbers of people across Britain signing up to car clubs has led to almost 100,000 private vehicles being taken off the road, recent research from CoMoUK revealed.
It found that on average across Britain each car club vehicle results in 18.5 private cars being replaced.
Robert Proctor, Business Development Manager at Community Energy Wales, said:
“We are very excited to receive this fund to build a Wales-wide EV Community Car club project. We’re working with a range of partners and community organisations in Wales to see this project through. Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, we can start to explore new models of ownership for cars and create community solutions to cut carbon emissions and play our part in the fight against the climate disaster.”
John Rose, Director at The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales, said:
“Climate change will impact everyone and communities across Wales have an important role to play in reaching the Net Zero target. The National Lottery Community Fund is proud to be a significant funder of environmental projects and we are delighted to support the great environmental work Ynni Cymunedol Cymru – Community Energy Wales are doing across Wales, thanks to National Lottery players. This electric vehicle car clubs scheme is such a powerful way to engage communities all over Wales in demonstrating first-hand that electric vehicles are the future, whilst also addressing important issues such as rural isolation.”
Richard Dilks, chief executive of CoMoUK, said:
“This significant funding commitment from the National Lottery will bring positive change for communities across Wales.
“It will help create greener transport opportunities in rural communities and reduce carbon emissions across the country.
“And these electric vehicle car clubs will make vehicles accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford them, improve transport opportunities for people in hard-to-reach places, and present connection opportunities between different communities.
“Our research has found over the years that participation in car clubs encourages other positive behaviour change, such as increased cycling and walking and persuading people to give up their own private vehicles.
“That all makes a difference for physical and mental health, and saves significant sums of money for households.
“Charge Up Wales is a hugely exciting project and we’re delighted to be involved.”