Bristol car sharing platform Karshare has partnered with electric car subscription company elmo to bring electric car sharing to the city for the first time ever – helping Bristol cement its status as a Green Capital. 

The new partnership will allow Bristol residents to be the first people in the country to subscribe to their own electric car, and then hire it out to vetted renters on the Karshare platform when they aren’t using it. Dubbed ‘the Airbnb for cars’, Karshare offers car owners the opportunity to increase their household income by up to £550 per month. 

It’s a big win for the company who recently surpassed its £1million fundraising target on equity crowdfunding campaign Seedrs, with the current total standing at £1.4million, from 676 investors. 

The news comes at a welcome time, with the air pollution in Bristol currently at alarmingly high levels. With a strong focus on the impact diesel vehicles has on air pollution, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees recently unveiled plans for the introduction of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will see drivers of high-polluting vehicles face paying a daily charge to drive within the zone as of October. However, drivers of more eco-friendly vehicles, including electric cars, will be exempt from the charges. 

Andy Hibbert, the founder of Karshare, says, “It’s no secret that the air pollution in Bristol needs attention – in August and September last year road traffic caused Nitrogen Dioxide levels to rise above the legal level. Cars have a huge impact on how environmentally friendly our towns and cities are and we’re on a mission to decrease car usage through sharing. When cars are shared up to 14 others are not needed, plus it encourages more sustainable behaviour as you’re more likely to walk for a short trip to the shops rather than rent a shared car for these quick journeys. 

“Electric car subscriptions and car sharing are leading the revolution in how consumers drive cars; both offer a new, smarter way to ‘access’, rather than own, a car to the growing segments of customers who want flexibility in how they drive, and who want to do so more sustainably.” 

Olly Jones, co-founder at elmo, says, “We’re excited to be able to offer our subscribers the opportunity to share their electric car and help even more people start their electric car journey. We hope this means people who have been on the fence about going electric feel confident they can do it, without the commitment of buying the car outright.” 

The CAZ will see charges of £9 a day for cars, vans or taxis to drive through the city, and charges of £100 a day for lorries and buses. Many locals have argued that due to the lack of park-and-ride facilities, people have no choice but to drive their car through the city and eco-friendly electric cars are currently too expensive for many. 

Hibbert continues: “Our partnership enables locals to access an electric car in a more affordable way than simply buying one, and avoid the daily charge at the same time. What’s more, people can hire their car out on our platform when they aren’t using it to make some extra money.” 

Karshare enables people to share their cars with others in their community – fully insured and covered for breakdown, using keyless technology. It offers owners the capability of earning up to £550 per month to supplement household incomes and renters the ability to rent a car affordably and easily using their mobile phone. In addition, with keyless technology there is no need for a key exchange keeping the process contact-free.