Tilton on the Hill accelerates into the future with launch of Leicestershire’s first electric car club

Published Monday 18 September 2023

A new rural car club giving people the opportunity to hire electric pool vehicles has been established in Tilton on the Hill.

The Tilton community cutting a ribbon to launch their electric car club and chargers
The Tilton community have launched their electric car club and chargers by symbolically cutting ties to oil

On Saturday 16 September, members of the community, invited guests, and council officials launched two electric cars and chargers by symbolically cutting ties to oil.

Developed to provide residents with affordable, accessible, emission free transport, the car club features two electric vehicles with a range of over 200 miles supplied by Green Fox Community Energy, a not-for-profit community co-operative.

The village, which has no public transport, also now boasts a fast-charging electric car station at the village hall. Harborough District Council has funded the installation of two double electric vehicle charging points which allow up to four electric cars to be charged.

Tilton on the Hill was chosen because of the environmental reputation of Tilton Green and the support of the community. Miriam Stoate, founding member and chair of Tilton Green, said: “It is fantastic to have developed the first electric car club in Leicestershire at Tilton on the Hill. The amazing dedication and hard work of so many people in our community have made this possible. We now have an electric car club, providing easy to use, emission free and affordable travel, available to anyone in the parish along with a Need A Lift Scheme with volunteer drivers”.

Green Fox secured funding for the car club from the Motability Foundation, the national disability charity, as part of a pilot car club initiative. The aim of the project is to provide those with disabilities, in rural communities, with access to affordable shared transport, which will allow them to access services and social activities independently and improve their general wellbeing. All the cars are adapted for those with limited mobility. The vehicles are also available for the rest of the community to hire, creating a transformational, accessible asset for the whole village.

Cllr Darren Woodiwiss, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for Environmental and Climate Change, said: “I’m delighted that the people living in Tilton on the Hill and Halstead are the first in the county and Harborough district to benefit from a cost-saving electric car club and efficient charging infrastructure which the council has funded. We are committed to cutting congestion and emissions, reducing car dependency and transforming the way people travel.”

Tilton Village Hall representative Simon Brown said: “It’s great that the village hall provides parking, funding, support and electricity for the cars and chargers. The chargers will provide a great facility for our village and the wider area and a revenue stream for our village hall.”

Ben Dodd, a director of Green Fox, said: “The latest government figures show that transport is responsible for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. In rural areas this is often compounded by no public transport, as its uneconomic, leaving communities isolated and dependent on private cars for their transport needs. Rural electric car clubs which are run by the community for the community can reduce emissions, increase social cohesion, and develop innovative ways in which to deliver transport in the future.

“We have secured funding for a further four electric car clubs in Leicestershire and would love to hear from parish councils and community groups who would like to follow in the footsteps of Tilton”.

For more information visit www.greenfoxcommunityenergy.coop