Hawick electric car club gearing up for launch next month

Teviot Electric Car Club project manager Andy Maybury.
Teviot Electric Car Club project manager Andy Maybury.

An electric car-sharing club being set up in Hawick is on the lookout for a bright spark as it gears up for its launch later this summer.

Teviot Electric Car Club is seeking someone to oversee the day-to-day requirements of the car-sharing scheme and to promote the club among Hawick residents and others interested in hiring its vehicles.

The successful candidate will take up the post ahead of the car club’s launch, now scheduled for next month.

The project was made possible thanks to a £107,000 grant from Scottish Power Energy Networks’ green economy fund.

That funding has enabled it to buy two low-carbon cars.

Those vehicles are currently housed in a car dealership while the club sorts out insurance for them.

Once the scheme is operational, they will be based at parking bays in Mart Street in Hawick.

Andy Maybury, project manager of the club, accepted that the scheme had suffered some setbacks but is optimistic that it will soon be firing on all cylinders.

He said: “There have been delays, but there is no way it is not going ahead.

“We have already purchased two vehicles. They are at the dealership waiting for us to arrange the insurance and then take delivery.

“There have been some hiccups in terms of the plans and the timescale.

“We had been hoping to have our grand launch in June, but that did not happen due to a number of reasons, with Scottish Borders Council taking much longer about some of their processes than we had hoped for.

“It is also due to Co-wheels, a national car club we were working on obtaining a franchise from to very quickly get up and running on the back of their booking system.

“They have a new relationship with a German company which was not willing for Co-wheels to offer a franchise. They were looking for much larger clubs to join in with them as a franchise.

“We had to then go back and look at the possibilities, and we are working with two other organisations and looking at the possibility of just getting insurance for the cars ourselves and getting our own booking system, so we are weighing up the options at the moment.

“In the meantime, the SP Energy Networks green economy fund, which has provided the funding, is keen that we progress things as fast possible because they paid for the purchase of the first two vehicles.

“They said we should get the car club manager employed as soon as possible because they can then help implement whatever scheme gets decided upon.”

Though it has yet to get a proper launch, the club did hold an open event in February to herald its arrival.