Labour has unveiled plans to roll out a fleet of 30,000 electric hire cars onto Britain’s roads in a bid to help tackle climate change.
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey today said Labour would spend £300m to provide its so-called People’s Zipcars if it came to power, which people across the country could rent via an app.
The radical plan for “collective car transport” would help cut carbon emissions by reducing the number of privately-owned cars on the road, the party said.
Privately-owned car-sharing firm Zipcar operates through a similar model, but only has around 3,000 cars available for hire in the UK, mainly in London and Bristol. Labour’s scheme would come as direct competition to the firm.
Despite this, Zipcar marketing boss Vivienne Mackinnon said the policy was welcome.
“We know more than anyone the key role that car sharing has to play in transforming people’s driving behaviours,” she said.
“We also know that car sharing removes privately owned vehicles from UK roads and actively helps tackle the UK’s growing challenges of congestion and pollution.”
Labour’s plan, which was announced at its party conference in Brighton today, would involve spending £250m buying British-made electric cars, which would be leased to community car clubs in towns, villages and cities. The remaining £50m would be spent on a mobile app, and getting the scheme off the ground.
“Labour’s Community Car Clubs will put collective car transport in the hands of communities, reducing emissions, improving air quality in urban areas and boosting domestic manufacturing,” Long-Bailey said.
The party also said it would subsidise the purchase of new electric vehicles when drivers trade in their old cars.
Labour plans to launch a scrappage scheme to replace cars driven on fossil fuels over ten years old with new electric cars, saving buyers an estimated £2,000.
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