Posted: 21/01/2020

Jersey’s first electric on demand car club, EVie, begins today enabling access to environmentally friendly electric vehicles for any islander over the age of 23 with a driving license. EVie is particularly attractive for those who live in St Helier where car parking spaces are limited and for those whom vehicle ownership is too costly. It’s also hoped the digitally-enabled scheme, will be a catalyst for a more sustainable transport system in Jersey.

Car share clubs like EVie have been in place in the USA, UK and other countries, for many years and research shows that those who participate in the schemes are more likely to walk, cycle and use public transport; only using the club cars when needed, and thus reducing the number of vehicles on the road. In addition, the local founders of EVie hope it will push Jersey to more sustainable zero-emission electric transport as Founder, Gavin Breeze explained: “I am a Jerseyman and I wanted to do something that was good for the Island, so I thought one way was to encourage more electric vehicle use; but electric cars are still more expensive to buy which discourages ownership. EVie means you can have access to an electric car without the initial outlay or ongoing costs, which is good for your pocket and good for our environment.”

Drivers can join EVie for free by simply downloading the phone app and then hire a car when required for just £7.50 an hour.

The scheme will be particularly attractive for the one-third of Jersey’s population who live in St Helier where many don’t have access to affordable parking spaces. In addition, people commuting into St Helier for work, via bike or bus, leave their car at home for the majority of the week, “The average car is sat idle for 95% of the time, and their owners may have spent thousands of pounds to buy a piece of metal that will be losing value,” said Gavin, “Add to this the insurance, maintenance and parking costs, and you can see why in other jurisdictions these car share schemes have been very popular.”

Digital Jersey have supported EVie and DJ CEO Tony Moretta said: “Technology has enabled this scheme to be a reality with an easy to use phone app allowing users to book the car and then receive a downloadable digital key to unlock and start the vehicles. It is an excellent example of how tech can improve our environment by potentially reducing the number of cars on our roads, and ensuring they have zero-emission replacements.”

Four vehicles are now available for hire via the EVie app, three BMW i3 vehicles and one Nissan van. Licensed drivers over the age of 23 can download the EVie app, prove eligibility by taking a photograph of their driving license, and then once approved will be able to book the cars by the hour. There are four dedicated parking spaces to pick up the vehicles; two at The Parade and two at Halkett Place. It’s hoped that by the end of the year there will be 20 vehicles available, and that number will double next year with the scheme pick-up points spreading across the Island.

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