Hawick’s Teviot Electric Car Club has been given an official launch by Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont and Ian Johnston, district general manager for SP Energy Networks, one of the £170,000 initiative’s backers.
The club is offering two all-electric vehicles for hire, a Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.
The lion’s share of the bill for the project is being picked up by SP Energy Networks in the form of a £107,000 grant from its £20m green economy fund, and Transport Scotland is covering the £30,000 cost of four public charging bays in Mart Street as well as the club’s own charge points.
Admin back-up is being provided by Devon-based social enterprise Co-cars.
The club is aiming to help out those without cars of their own but needing occasional transport for the likes of medical appointments, job interviews, shopping trips or days out.
Mr Lamont said: “I’m thrilled that Hawick has seen the introduction of the Teviot Electric Car Club as it will hugely benefit the community.
“This will give people in rural areas flexible access to a vehicle when they need it most while simultaneously reducing harmful emissions and improving Hawick’s air quality.”
Project manager Andy Maybury said: “We are delighted to be launching a new electric vehicle community car club in Hawick.
“Our vehicles are award-winning, easy to drive and are a healthy alternative to petrol or diesel cars.
“Thanks to the huge support of SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund, this service is making driving affordable, convenient and environmentally-friendly.”
Mr Johnston added: “The community car club is an excellent example of a project that will greatly benefit Hawick, and we’re proud to be a part of it.
“This co-operative will have such a positive impact on the community by both meeting the need for less expensive travel and simultaneously helping to tackle climate change.”
The club’s vehicles will be based at the Mart Street car park, next to the town’s Morrisons superstore.
They are available to any good driver aged 21 or over.
For further details, visit tecc.coop or call 07399 486002.
Membership costs £25 a year and cars can be hired for £4.75 per hour or £34 a day, all costs included.