The problem 

We cannot replace all 31.5 million petrol and diesel cars in the UK with electric vehicles. We need to start encouraging car sharing over ownership.

There is a danger that big companies will dominate the EV market for the benefit of the few. Poorer communities are denied the benefits of sharing EVs and local renewables.

Despite huge progress in renewables, there has been little growth in locally-owned renewables after the collapse of the feed-in tariff.

The challenge 

How do we encourage shared car use in the community and boost locally-owned energy generation?

What if...we could create a virtuous circle of sharing EVs and promoting renewable energy growth while demonstrating clear benefits for the local community?

Whatwe did: We designed a prototype and brought together a local EV car club with a local energy cooperative to explore the potential of a partnership.


What we did

We ran a 3-week design sprint with a small team of 3 people – creating a prototype based on the idea that EVs, part owned by the community and run on local renewables, will be a bigger pull than normal carshare schemes.

We contacted Co-wheels car club to recommend the car and location for the pilot. We also held talks with Bristol City Council over how local green energy could be sourced.

What we learned

Our hypothesis that locally-generated renewables would reduce distribution costs – with the potential to invest in more capacity – attracted potential partners.

They also recognised the additional benefits of less congestion, lower transport costs, less air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and potentially, financial gain.


What's next

We've put the Bristol pilot on hold while we prioritise other live projects. Feel free to steal this idea.


Following a successful bid for an electric vehicle and charging point, we are working with a small rural community in North Wales on a pilot to prove the concept.