UWE Bristol leases electric cars to encourage staff to leave their car at home

Issue date: 24 April 2015


Electric car at UWE Bristol

In celebration of Bristol Green Capital year the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has extended its pool car provision to include electric cars to encourage staff to travel to work in a sustainable way.

Working in partnership with Co-wheels car club, the university now has two electric cars currently situated on the Frenchay Campus. Funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and money raised by UWE Bristol from staff parking permits the cars can be charged using electricity that has been generated on Campus.

Chris Donnelly, Travel and Access Manager, said, “We are very happy to partner up with Co-wheels car club as the company is run as a social enterprise. Having electric cars on campus will give staff more choice in how they choose to commute to work. Staff who have to travel between campuses usually choose to travel to work by car to be able to meet deadlines for lectures and meetings. This scheme will provide staff with the chance to travel into work by bike, bus or on foot knowing that they can have access to a car if they need to travel across the city sustainably during the working day.

“The electric cars will also benefit students and people living near the university as we have contracted for UWE staff usage during working times but outside of these times the cars can be used by our local community.”

Pierre Fox, Director of Co-wheels car club, said that the relationship with UWE Bristol is very important to the business. He said, “Our ethos is to support the public sector to be more environmentally conscious. Co-wheels is a different kind of car club. We operate as a Social Enterprise, working to develop and improve access to more sustainable car use for communities all over the UK. The city of Bristol has a unique model and we have also developed partnerships with other key sectors and organisations including Avon Fire and Rescue, North Bristol Trust, Bristol and Bath Science Park and Bristol Community Health.

“A key driver to support our links with public sector organisations followed on from a study led by Dr Steve Melia and Professor Graham Parkhurst, transport experts from the Centre for Transport and Society at UWE Bristol that pointed out the benefits of the schemes in the health sector.”

James Morvan, UWE Bristol Travel Officer, said that the University is constantly exploring more sustainable ways of operating and has recently installed solar panels on the roof of the Centre for Sport. He said, “We are looking to extend the green energy that we generate at UWE Bristol, this will support the energy used to charge the cars. For me a key benefit is the fact that the cars are helping to improve air quality locally and this has been proven to be vital for good health.”

The two new fully electric Mitsubishi iMievs are based next to charging points by the UWE East Reception gatehouse and join the growing fleet of Co-wheels pool cars at UWE that includes a Toyota Yaris hybrid.

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